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Rob Holding has one of two options against Brighton

Rob Holding may or may not start against Brighton, but the Arsenal man has one of two things coming his way whether he does or not.

Arsenal‘s defense has suddenly relapsed about five years in just 90 minutes. With David Luiz‘s complete mental conniption and Pablo Mari‘s season-ending injury, Mikel Arteta is suddenly left with just Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, and the long-forgotten Rob Holding.

With William Saliba and likely more help coming in the summer, as well as the resurgence and clear superiority of Calum Chambers once he returns to health, Holding’s prospects did not look good at the club he was meant to be part of the future of.

But fate, while striking a cruel blow to the likes of Mari and Luiz, has seemingly smiled on Holding and given him a chance to do one of two things against Brighton. Of course, that begins with one of two decisions Arteta can make.

If Holding sits and doesn’t see the pitch, he’s going to leave in the next transfer window. Count on it. There’s no point in staying.

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That out of the way, let’s talk about what happens if he plays.

That’s when it’s all up to him what happens next. It sounds crazy, but playing next to Mustafi, it’ll be all eyes on Holding. Mustafi has been remarkably good since Arteta took over, even when Luiz abandoned him against City, Mustafi held his own for the rest of the match.

So focusing on Holding, he can either put in a convincing effort or he can fail and buckle under the pressure. All the while he’ll know that Luiz is back in the next match, Chambers is nearing his return, and Sokratis is still out there somewhere, lurking.

Essentially what I’m saying is, he can either succeed and remind Arteta that he is still a capable resource, or he can fail and disappear and never be seen again. Because if he doesn’t play well, assuming he even plays, Arteta will go back to Luiz, or dig up Sokratis. It’s clear that Holding is not a priority in Arteta’s realm, so why keep trying something he already doesn’t believe in all that much?

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I hope Holding does play. And I hope he succeeds. He’s still a young, exciting defender that had the plug pulled on him too soon. One injury upset all of his progress and I refuse to believe he’s just lost everything that easily.

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