Arsenal defender Rob Holding in ‘on Newcastle’s list’ for the January transfer window as manager Eddie Howe looks to add defensive reinforcements to his first-team squad, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
Kieran Trippier has already been announced as the first arrival of the new era at St. James’ Park under the ownership of the Saudi-backed consortium, and it’s believed three more signings are being targeted.
What is the latest news involving Newcastle?
The Magpies became one of the richest clubs in world football last year after Mike Ashley finally departed following a torrid 14-year stint in charge.
However, their troubles on the pitch are yet to be resolved, despite Howe replacing Steve Bruce in the dugout several months ago.
In his eight Premier League games at the helm, Newcastle have conceded 18 times as their porous backline continues to undermine their efforts to escape the relegation zone.
The acquisition of a right-back has come as little surprise then, and signing a centre-back to aid Trippier in his mission to stop the North-East outfit from conceding on such a regular basis appears to be a logical next step.
Burnley pair James Tarkowski and Ben Mee have been linked with a shock switch to Newcastle in recent weeks, but they’re not the only options available to Howe.
O’Rourke has revealed that Holding is one of the names on Newcastle’s shortlist as they attempt to maintain their top-flight status come May.
What has O’Rourke said about Holding?
Following the £50 million arrival of Ben White over the summer, Holding has fallen down the pecking order in north London.
Mikel Arteta has settled upon a partnership of White and Gabriel, limiting the 6 foot 2 gem to just 318 minutes of Premier League action.
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But Holding has shown his quality in previous years, claiming two FA Cups with the Gunners, and O’Rourke disclosed that Newcastle have identified him as a possible target this month.
He told GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview: “Rob Holding at Arsenal. I’m sure he’s on Newcastle’s list”
Is Holding an improvement on Newcastle’s current options?
While club captain Jamaal Lascelles is likely to keep his place in the starting XI for the months ahead, securing a new partner for him may be next on Howe’s to-do list.
And Holding appears to be a good candidate to come in and sure things up alongside the 28-year-old, despite Alan Shearer’s criticism back in August.
As per FBref.com, Holding has recorded 2.50 tackles, 8.89 pressures and 4.44 blocks per 90 throughout 2021/22, bettering the tallies of Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez in each metric.
It remains to be seen whether Howe makes a move for Holding, but it seems he could offer an immediate improvement to Newcastle’s defensive unit.