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'He has shown intelligence, composure' - Wenger heaps praise on Arsenal 21-year-old

By Matt Bullin

Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on Rob Holding following a string of impressive performances in recent weeks.

The 21-year-old played the full 90 minutes as the Gunners claimed a huge victory over Man United at the Emirates on Sunday.

Wenger’s side won 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck, handing them their fourth win in six Premier League games.

Holding has come into the side in recent weeks Arsenal have looked to employ a 3-4-3 formation, with him utilised as one of the three centre-backs.

He also featured in the league win at Middlesbrough and in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Man City.

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Wenger heaped praise on Holding during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Gunners’ Wednesday night clash versus Southampton.

Speaking via Arsenal’s official Twitter account, Wenger said: “He of course needs some defensive experience and in every single game I believe he’s becoming stronger through the game.

“I think in all the games he’s played until now, he’s shown intelligence, composure on the ball.”

Since he signed from Bolton for £2.5million last summer, Holding has struggled to break into the first team at Arsenal until the last few weeks.

But overall he has only made 13 appearances in all competitions, as well as three for the Under-23s in Premier League 2.

But as Arsenal sweat on the fitness of Laurent Koscielny ahead of the Southampton clash, Holding may be called upon again.

If Arsenal beat the Saints they can leapfrog Man United into fifth, with only three games left to play.

In other Arsenal news,  Phil Neville has claimed he would not touch this star with a barge pole.

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