Weather Icon 9.1°C Mostly Cloudy
Holding Signs For Arsenal In Big Money Move
Monday 25th July 2016 @ 12:40 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

A former West Hill School pupil has signed a deal with Premier League Giants Arsenal for a fee believed to be about £2m.

Rob Holding (Pictured with former teammate Zach Clough)has signed for the Gunners on a long-term contract from League One outfit Bolton Wanderers.

The 20-year-old defender moves to the Emirates Stadium following a fantastic 2015/16 season with the Trotters.

A string of outstanding performances at the Macron Stadium saw Holding rewarded with the Player of the Year award.

Holding signed for Bolton as a seven-year-old and eventually made his professional debut while on loan at Bury in March 2015.

Rising through the Bolton ranks, he eventually made his first team debut for the club in a League Cup defeat to Burton Albion last season.

Despite securing a permanent position in Neil Lennon’s squad, the England Under 21 star was unable to prevent a damaging relegation.

Holding did, however, enjoy his first international spell with the Three Lions under manager Gareth Southgate.

Upon being called up to replace Everton defender Brendan Galloway in May, Holding made his England debut in a 7-1 victory over Guinea at the Toulon Tournament.

England were subsequently crowned winners of the tournament following victories over Paraguay, Japan and France, with Holding making two appearances in total.

Holding’s move to Arsenal makes him Arsene Wenger’s third acquisition of the summer following the signings of 20-year-old Granit Xhaka and Takuma Asano.

Upon announcing his move, Holding took to Twitter and offered his thoughts. He said: “Delighted to sign for @Arsenal, looking forward to the new challenges and can’t wait to get started. Thank you for all the welcome messages!”

Former Bolton teammate Zach Clough – who attended Audenshaw School and has garnered plenty of Premier League interest himself- said: “All the best @RobHolding95 top player and deserved everything you have got over the past few months!”

Holding has been handed the number 16 shirt for the forthcoming season which was previously worn by Aaron Ramsey.

The Welsh International has taken the vacant number 8 shirt from retired club captain Mikel Arteta who has joined the Manchester City coaching staff over summer.

If selected for Arsenal’s opening game of the Premier League season, Holding can look forward to a home clash against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.