Arsenal fans believe Rob Holding has announced himself as an ideal candidate to succeed Laurent Koscielny as club captain after he refused to sign a Tottenham shirt during the pre-season tour of America.
The 23-year-old impressed during the first half of last season, cementing a place in Unai Emery’s starting XI before he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury following a clash with Marcus Rashford last November.
Arsenal are hopeful the former Bolton defender will have recovered in time to make his first team return by the end of September which would represent a welcome boost given the uncertainty surrounding Koscielny’s future and Emery’s failure thus far to sign a new centre-half this summer.
‘When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him,’ Emery said following last night’s penalty shootout defeat against Real Madrid. ‘He decided to be out.
‘I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility. Now it’s an issue only for the club and him.
‘My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here.’
Koscielny’s likely departure will leave something of a leadership vacuum at Arsenal, but many Gooners believe Holding it capable of stepping into the breach after turning down a request to put his moniker to a Spurs shirt…