Wilshere backs Holding after torrid Arsenal debut

Matt Stead

Jack Wilshere expects Rob Holding to make a big impression at Arsenal despite the defender being given a torrid time on his debut.

Arsenal’s defensive injury crisis meant 20-year-old summer signing Holding was forced to deputise alongside Calum Chambers in the heart of the Gunners’ defence against Liverpool.

The North Londoners went on to concede four goals and could not cope with the Reds’ attacking threat at times, but Wilshere remains impressed by Holding.

“I think if you look on the pitch, he doesn’t look out of his comfort zone,” Wilshere told the official Arsenal website.

“He is a natural, he is confident on the ball and he wants to play and I think that is the Arsenal way. He is a great addition to the squad and one for the future as well.

“He’s only 20 years old and he’s come down from Bolton on his own, so he has to get used to living in London. That’s why I have been talking to him, to help him settle.

“We’ve had boys like that come here before in Calum [Chambers] and Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain], though. They’ve all settled in well and have improved as players as well as people.

“He’s a good lad. I’m sure he is one for the future and can improve his game this year.”

Arsene Wenger was lambasted in our 16 conclusions on Arsenal’s 4-3 defeat at the Emirates for failing to protect his young players from what could be a damaging psychological blow.

However, the Arsenal boss insists Holding’s performance was one of the few positives to come out of the display.

“I think he did very well overall. He was one of the positives of our game,” he said.

“He has shown intelligence and quality in defending and quality in passing forward and overall I think it’s a very positive game [for him].”