Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce

Noel Whelan hails the “very shrewd” Steve Bruce as Newcastle United close in on the signing of Arsenal defender Rob Holding.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds United forward claimed that the 24-year-old would be a “fantastic” signing for the club and one that is needed given the injury record of Jamaal Lascelles.

Arsenal confirmed the £22million capture of Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes which in turn has opened the door for Holding to leave the Emirates.

 

Football Insider revealed earlier today that the Magpies were finalising a season-long loan deal for the English defender after a breakthrough in talks over the past 24 hours.

Holding, who has three years left on his contract at Arsenal, made 23 appearances last season as he continued his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

When asked by Football Insider if the former Bolton defender would be a welcome addition at St. James’ Park, Whelan said: “I think it would be a smart signing.

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“Steve Bruce knows that he needs to bolster that defence and Rob Holding can play in a number of positions. He can play at right-back, centre-half and on the right of a three. Lascelles had a number of injury problems last year and they need to cover that base.

“In Holding they would be getting a very good British defender who knows the league extremely well. You forget that he is still a great age because he has been around for such a long time. They would be getting a fantastic player.

“Another very shrewd signing by Steve Bruce. You can see that Holding is a leader as well. Like Jeff Hendrick, that is a no brainer for me.”

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that Magpies are in pole position to sign 41-goal striker who wants move.