Two senior defender on verge of Arsenal exit, could open door for new arrival before deadline

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As the summer transfer window heats up with just a couple of days to go, Arsenal fans brace themselves for the departure of two senior defenders with the hope that it could lead to a new arrival.

Rob Holding looks set to finally leave the club with RCD Mallorca and Luton Town emerging as the most interested parties, though Luton’s boss has publicly ruled out a move as Mallorca appears the more likely destination. The impending departure of Holding, along with the loan move of Nuno Tavares to Nottingham Forest (worth £2m with an option to buy at £12m) and Kieran Tierney’s recent loan move to Real Sociedad, could pave the way for a last-minute defensive addition to the Gunners’ squad.

Rob Holding’s journey at Arsenal has been one of growth and perseverance. Joining the club in 2016 from Bolton Wanderers, Holding has survived multiple eras at the club. His performance during the 2017 FA Cup triumph highlighted his potential to be a future leader in Arsenal’s defensive line.

However, the path to success hasn’t been without its challenges. Injuries plagued Holding, disrupting his progress and limiting his playing time. Despite these setbacks, he displayed resilience and determination, working his way back into contention and regaining the trust of managers and fans alike. Holding’s versatility to play both in a back-four and a back-three system further added to his value.

However, under Mikel Arteta, where more ball-playing quality is demanded, Holding’s appearances have been limited to late substitutes. Now, as the 2023 summer transfer window unfolds, it appears Holding’s time at Arsenal might finally be coming to an end. The interest shown by Mallorca and Luton indicates his continued appeal in the market.

A loan deal has been mooted but Arsenal’s preference will be to sell the player permanently.

The exits of Holding, Tavares, and Tierney, though a loss in terms of personnel, can be seen as a chance for Arsenal to reassess their defensive strategy. With a potential vacancy in defence, Arsenal’s management might be inclined to venture into the transfer market for a late addition to bolster the backline, particularly given the fact that Jurrien Timber is unlikely to feature much at all this season.

No clear name for who that could be has arisen yet, but the arrival of Timber himself came somewhat out of the blue, so stay tuned for developments as they happen.

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