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Nearly sold for £15m, Arsenal star now aiming for international recognition

Gareth Southgate is set to announce his England squad later today with the centre-back positions again a cause for concern. Manchester City’s John Stones is injured whilst Harry Maguire and Michael Keane both struggled in England’s last set of fixtures. 

The Telegraph is reporting that Southgate is considering Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori as a potential solution, but one Arsenal player will have his eyes on the prize long-term. 

The player in question is Rob Holding and, were it not for injury, he would have surely already received his first England cap by now. 

Last November, Holding was one of the star players for Arsenal and one of the Premier League’s top-performing defenders. His display against Liverpool that month had many suggesting he might be on Southgate’s radar. 

It was a remarkable turnaround for the player. Last year, it looked like he was on his way out of Arsenal. The Sun suggested that Arsenal were ready to sell the player to Burnley for £15 million, following an unsuccessful £4 million bid in January.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

But Unai Emery saw something in Holding and he was one of the breakout stars from the Spaniard’s early days at The Emirates. 

Unfortunately for Holding, fate struck a cruel blow. The defender suffered a severe knee injury against Manchester United in December and his bright start to the season was brought to a shuddering halt. 

But he is now back and recently scored in his comeback appearance against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup. 

Holding is now expected to play against Standard Liege in the Europa League this evening where he will hope to show just why he should be back in England contention. 

Whilst this most recent international break may have come too soon for Holding, he will undoubtedly be a name Southgate has on his radar going forward.

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