Rob Holding says he modelled his game on ex-Man United captain

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Football News

For the first 15 years or so of the Premier League's existence, the rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United was amongst the most fierce in English football.

While the heady days of 'Pizzagate' and Ferguson vs Wenger feuds may have died down slightly after the emergence of Manchester City and Chelsea in the title picture, it is safe to say the two sets of fans still aren't on the best of terms.

As such, Arsenal supporters might be a little miffed to hear their new defensive signing, Rob Holding, admit that he actually modelled his game on a former United player who was key to foiling the Gunners' title attempts on more than one occasion.


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"Growing up I liked to think I modelled my game on Rio Ferdinand," the 21-year-old defender told Arsenal's official website.

"Especially the way he played when he was in a partnership with Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United.”

Considering the success Ferdinand and Vidic had at Man Utd - lifting five Premier League titles, one Champions League, three League Cups and a Club World Cup during their eight-year long partnership - Holding could have worse role models to look up to as he prepares to begin his Arsenal career.

Bad memories

Nevertheless, Ferdinand and co.'s success regularly came at the expense of Arsenal's title aspirations.

With the young Englishman looking to ingratiate himself with the north London club's fan base, perhaps he would have been better off keeping Ferdinand's name out of it when asked about his early game.

The former England captain isn't exactly the most popular man at the Emirates due to his Old Trafford association, after all.

Fortunately for Arsenal fans, Holding didn't only learn from Ferdinand when he was growing up. Again via the club's official website, the former Bolton centre-back also credited a number of great Arsenal defenders for moulding his game.

"I also watched Arsenal growing up and they had the likes of Tony Adams, Sol Campbell and Martin Keown who are all top-drawer centre halves that I admired and wanted to be like," he said.

“I just liked how much of a leader they were on the pitch, Tony Adams especially. Sol Campbell was just a brick wall and you couldn’t get around him."

If Wenger has found himself the next Tony Adams or Sol Campbell, Arsenal fans will be more than happy. They would probably even accept the next Rio Ferdinand if it meant an end to their long wait for the Premier League trophy.

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Jack Wilshere
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Rio Ferdinand
Sol Campbell
Premier League

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