Rob Holding (16)


You know how it is with Per. No matter what he does it’s always his lack of pace that will get highlighted. Even in this thread we have calls for a completely unproven young Holding to be ahead of a bona-fide veteran in Mertesacker. How anyone can want that after how solid Per has been overall for us and Germany is rather telling. Reading of the game and reliable qualities get overlooked for the time Ronaldo blew past him on FIFA.


It’s too easy to jump on Stones because of him being exposed to much higher level of competition and also a lot of media attention (and the highlighting of errors which get shown over and over again and make people feel more confident taking extreme positions on a player) thanks to his high profile.

He’s definitely a quality talent, maybe not worth his pricetag, but some people are being a bit too dismissive.

That said, there might be some definite flaws in his decision making/defensive positioning which could either just be a permanent trait of the player or be improved over time like with, say, Piqué.

I don’t think it’s ridiculous to suggest that Holding could end up being better than Stones, though, Holding might just prove to be the better defender. Still, I can appreciate @SRCJJ taking a cautious stance here, considering we really still haven’t seen Holding against much good competition (Liverpool and that’s it), nor over an extended period of time.

But the signs are certainly promising and him ending up better than Stones is certainly not out of the question.


I really like the idea that Pep Guardiola is some sort of moron who just got caught up in Stones’ hype and spunked 50m on him. Mourinho too I guess when he tried to sign him.

Hes clearly a player with a lot of talent (not 50m worth but that price tag is what it is) and clearly some of the worlds top managers seem to think so too.

Holding could well end up being the better overall signing and, yes, he’ll almost certainly end up being better value, but we’re not there yet.


This all gets disregarded though because he doesn’t play for Arsenal. Which is why people feel comfortable enough to say a defender with 3 senior premier league appearances is as good or even better than him.


Holding is great wonderful and vastly superior to Stones in that he plays for Arsenal Football Club surely that is enough for anyone on this forum .
Stones is clearly a inferior player ,has personal hygine problems and is liable to wet the bed and be a bag O’shite on the basis he plays for Madchester shitty ,is that not clear !
(graphs and flowcharts plus meaningless stats to follow)


Martinez didn’t exactly cover himself in glory tbh, he didn’t place emphasis on the defensive side much at all not too dissimilar from Wenger in that respect.

Despite recent performances in the past Stones has shown much deserving of praise, it’s clear he has the potential to be a top class CB evidenced from Pep spunking all that money on him.

Some are being very quick to anoint Holding who no doubt looks an absolute bargain and future top class CB in the making if developed right, however, considering he’ll get very little game time I hope his growth doesn’t suffer.


Not saying Stones is not a quality prospect but him being English & meeting the homegrown criteria certainly plays a role.
I highly doubt Mourinho has any interest in grooming a young talent.


Eric Bailly is the same age as Stones albeit over £20mil cheaper.


He has no choice now. He has to play some young players(Rashford, Lindgard) in this United term as they do not have any experienced players.
Had there been couple of late 20s defenders, Bailly would have been on bench. Example : Luke Shaw


It doesn’t play a role if they don’t rate him in the first place. Especially Mourinho who isn’t inclined to sign rubbish defenders.


True to an extent though Shaw was only on the bench due to coming off that double leg break.

Holding was a steal though, definitely seems like we did pulled an Everton with that transfer which is pretty damn good business in this climate.


He signs players for fun.
Felipe Luis, mainstay of Atletico Madrid; benched for most of season under Mourinho and sold next term back to A. Madrid.

Don’t buy this ‘signed by Mourinho so rated by Mourinho’ narrative.

Fabian Delph


I don’t think those lads cost 50m combined so it’s simply not the same thing.

As for Mr Luis i barely remember him but a quick read through his wiki seems to suggets he was bought as back up to that guy who’s name i’m not going to even try to spell. So, again, not the same thing.


Don’t want to get into the Stones vs. Holding debate, but just to point out that well spread perception here in Spain is that Guardiola is one of the best managers of today (some will say the best) but just an average (if not bad) scout.

In Barcelona he “committed” signings such as Dmytro Chygrynskiy’s for 25M, who, as Stones, was supposed to be one of the best ball playing CB in Europe and ended up being just utter shit. Same may be commented about Martín Cáceres signing.


Those are players bought to satisfy the homegrown players even when they were not rated.
So Homegrown status plays a role despite them not rating said players in first place.
Thus they help contradict your statement.

Luis Felipe was first choice for Atletico Madrid, the side which won La Liga & reached CL final.
No way he was bought as mere backup, especially given the fact that he was to be a backup to a rightback playing at left back.

Mourinho has bought plenty of playing for sake of it.
Baba Rahman, Salah, Cuadrado etc etc.

As i said, Signed by Mourinho doesn’t mean rated by Mourinho.
Check Mkhitaryan for latest example.

I was going to mention that player. At the time was a big signing for someone relatively unknown. Lasted few months & sold back for 18m.
That coupled with Eto-Ibrahimovic transfer was couple of big transfer blunders by…well…not necessarily Pep…but the whole Barca team.


I didn’t say it didn’t play a role. I’m saying it’s irrelevant if they don’t rate him to begin with when the price tag is 50 million quid (or 35-40m when mourinho was trying to get him).


Not if you watch chiringuito and Josep Pederol :confused:


Pep and Mourinho have signed plenty of players for big money who didn’t work out. Stones wasn’t his first choice either, Laporte and another I forget were his initial targets.

Part of the issue is that they’re absolutely desperate for homegrown players at City and most homegrown players are pretty useless. They haven’t signed Stones because he’s the best young defender, they’ve signed him because they’re desperate for homegrown players.

Stones is skillful on the ball, but he’s highly error prone. Right now to everyone, Pep included, he’s a prospect who needs to improve many facets of his game. We’ll have to see how he turns out.

EDIT scrolling up it seems most of the points I made have already been made by others.


Agreed and said pretty much this. :slight_smile:


The way he plays; it’s as if, he has played for many years. Well ahead his peers and a massive talent. I wonder how effective he can be as a defensive midfielder though.