Newcastle loan for Rob Holding held up by Arsenal as they decide on replacement

Arsenal are reportedly holding up approving Rob Holding’s departure to Newcastle on loan as they are worried about a lack of cover at centre-back.

Holding is expected to leave the Gunners for the upcoming Premier League season.

And Newcastle were thought to be inching closer to securing the 24-year-old’s services for the year.

However, Sky Sports claim that the Gunners are hesitating due to concerns about their defence.

Arsenal have been plagued by injuries at the back in recent weeks, and were forced to play Holding for the Community Shield win over Liverpool.

Gabriel Magalhaes has now been added to Mikel Arteta’s ranks, taking their centre-back total to a whopping eight.

Sokratis is expected to leave the club on a permanent deal before the transfer window ends though.

And Arteta is thinking about scrapping the idea of letting Holding leave the club altogether, according to the Daily Mail.

The Englishman is unlikely to start many games with Gabriel, Pablo Mari, William Saliba and David Luiz probably above him in the pecking order.

But after Holding’s performances at Wembley in recent months, Arteta isn’t so sure it would be wise to let him join a rival.

New recruit Gabriel recently spoke about his delight to be playing alongside David Luiz and William Saliba.

“For sure David is an example, he is a player I admire very much,” Gabriel told Arsenal Digital. “I was always a big fan of him and everything he achieved.

“I watched him since I was a kid, I played video games with his character and today it is a dream come true to be here with him and hopefully play next to him soon.

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“It is always good to have Brazilian players at the club to welcome me, it is very important for me. I don’t speak English very well and I will try to learn as fast as I can.

"I know [Saliba] is a talented young player and if he is joining Arsenal it is because of his quality.

"We have a few friends in common and I did play against him before. He is a great player and I am sure we will get along very well."

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