Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding has revealed that he almost left the club over the summer following the departure of former manager Arsène Wenger.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Holding admitted that he had planned to head out on loan in order to get some playing time, but said: “Over the off season, with my dad and my agent, we were thinking should I go out on loan and hopefully get some game time.
"But then the manager [Arsène Wenger] obviously announced he was retiring and then it was do I want to be out the door, rather than be in front of him [Unai Emery] and be like, this is me, I want to play for your team.
“So we took the decision to stay and do pre-season here and from pre-season he liked the look of me and I sort of knew I was part of his plans.
“Contract wise, Arsène Wenger was staying for another year and I signed another contract with Arsène as manager and then a few weeks later he announced it [that he was leaving the club]. “But it gave me that security to know that I had another few years to work on something and hopefully break into the team."
However, Holding has said that he is grateful that he decided to stay at the club. He has been given an extended run in Unai Emery's Arsenal side owing to persistent injury problems for summer signing Sokratis.
When asked about the change of philosophy that Emery has implemented, Holding said: "The main difference is how we’re defending when we’re attacking. When we’re up the other end of the pitch, how we are organised and prepared for a counter. That has been the biggest difference."
Holding will hope that he can continue his good form into his side's next match, which sees them travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Sunday, with kick-off at 13:30 GMT.