Rob Holding Joins Crystal Palace

England defender Rob Holding has joined Premier League side Crystal Palace on a permanent transfer. The former-Bolton man will join Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park for a reported fee of an initial £1m, with a further £2.5m in add-ons, on a three-year contract.

Holding had been expected to leave for most of the summer, but a deal only materialised in the latter stages of the window, with fellow Premier League club Luton Town also expressing an interest.

Though the fee is considered to be somewhat disappointing to many Arsenal fans, it does represent a profit for the player. Holding was signed from Bolton Wanderers back in 2016 for a reported fee of £2m.

Holding was brought to the club by Arsène Wenger. The club had been tracking his progress for many months and decided to strike a deal to bring the England U21 player to the club for the 2016/17 season.

Despite an initially strong start, Holding found himself on the bench for much of his first season. One memorable performance away to title-holders Leicester City, saw Arsène Wenger proclaim that he was sorry that “he [Holding] did not cost £55m!”

Eventually, Holding soon found himself in the starting XI, as Wenger switched to a back-three system, producing a famous performance in the FA Cup final, wherein he partnered Per Mertesacker and managed to keep Chelsea striker Diego Costa quiet.

Holding enjoyed a small period of game time under Unai Emery, but an injury to his anterior-cruciate ligament (ACL), ruled him out for a long period of time.

Since then, Holding has failed to really carve out a first-team position. Though he was called upon at various points during the 2022/23 campaign, he was unfairly scapegoated for many of Arsenal’s poor performances in the wake of William Saliba’s absence.

Holding leaves Arsenal having made 162 apperances in all competitions, scoring 5 goals.

Holding’s departure was not the first of transfer deadline day. Nuno Tavares joined Nottingham Forest on loan earlier in the day, with Albert Sambi Lokonga joining Luton Town on loan. Nicolas Pépé and Cédric Soares all both expected to leave in the coming days.

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