Arsenal

Arsenal: ESPN’s Paul Mariner laughs off Rob Holding’s chances

Arsenal: ESPN’s Paul Mariner laughs off Rob Holding’s chances

‘Not gonna be the saviour’ – ESPN pundit shows lack of faith in Arsenal ace

ESPN pundit Paul Mariner has had his say on the Laurent Koscielny situation at Arsenal – and doesn’t back anyone in the Gunners defence to come to the rescue, with the Frenchman’s career in North London hanging in the balance following his refusal to take part in the team’s pre-season preparations.

With the club yet to punish their captain for his actions, his future at the club remains unclear – leaving the squad with fewer options at the back heading into the new campaign, having made no defensive signings during the transfer window so far.

And Mariner, a former Arsenal player, has concerns over the state of the defence – and seemed to pick on Rob Holding in particular when assessing the makeup of The Gunners’ potential back-four for next season.

Speaking to ESPN FC (via the Daily Star), he said: “Koscielny is not the player that he used to be, but he’s still one of the better players that they’ve got in that back four – and it’s not a very good back four.

“Everybody’s waiting for Rob Holding to come back, he’s gonna be the saviour – he’s not gonna be the saviour! He is not!”

Holding has not featured for the club since sustaining a serious injury during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United in December.

The 23-year-old had enjoyed a fairly impressive season up until that point, as the team went without defeat with the centre-back in the side during the earlier stages of the 2018/19 campaign.

Mariner did not appear to elaborate on his reasons to brutally shoot down Holding’s chances of filling the void that could be left in the event of a Koscielny absence resulting from his actions – be that at the club or elsewhere.

However, Holding’s recent record on the pitch (11 wins and five draws last season) does provide encouragement of his return giving Arsenal a much-needed boost in their defensive ranks – and whether or not Koscielny ends up playing in an Arsenal shirt again, Holding could be part of the defensive combination that works for Arsenal if his unbeaten run in a Gunners shirt continues upon his comeback.

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