“I never expected to leave Arsenal so quickly, but they fired me after only seven years.” “At Crystal Palace, I’m only attempting to imitate TWO Arsenal legends.”- Former Arsenal star Rob Holding has revealed the stunning reason for his exit to Crystal Palace, as well as the ONLY two Arsenal players who cared about him.
Rob Holding identifies the two former Arsenal teammates he aspires to be like at Crystal Palace.
Rob Holding hopes to inspire his younger Crystal Palace colleagues in the same way that two former Arsenal captains did.
On deadline day, the defender left the Emirates for Selhurst Park, concluding a seven-year stint in north London in which he made 162 appearances across all competitions and won two FA Cups.
During that period, he captained his team multiple times and played alongside several Gunners legends and famous club captains, like Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Martin Odegaard.
Holding aims to be a leader for his new team as one of the more experienced players in the Palace group, both in terms of age and European football participation. He named past captains Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny as the pair from whom he learned the most.
‘I’ve got a lot of experience, I’m 28 years old now, and they’ve got a young team at Palace, some new boys coming through,’ the centre-back told talkSPORT.
Any little things I’ve learned from my time at Arsenal, when I first came into the changing room and saw players like Mertesacker and Koscielny, they are just leaders.
‘If I can take any bits I gained from them and pass them on to the lads at Palace who are a little younger now, then I can do that.’
This season, the average age of the Eagles’ starting XIs is slightly over 27, making them the joint-third oldest in the Premier League, alongside Newcastle and just behind Fulham and West Ham.
Nonetheless, several of Roy Hodgson’s important players, notably Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi, and Michael Olise, are on the younger side.
Mertesacker took over as Arsenal captain in the summer that Holding joined the club, succeeding the retiring Mikel Arteta, and the World Cup winner is currently the club’s Academy Manager.
Following the retirement of the German, Koscielny took over as captain for one season before leaving the club in questionable circumstances to join Bordeaux, where he will retire in 2022.
Holding has only appeared once for Palace, in a 3-0 Carabao Cup loss to Manchester United, but he might make his league debut on Saturday against Newcastle.