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Nigel Winterburn has theory why Rob Holding should not be sold by Arsenal

Arsenal should consider keep hold of Rob Holding out of their other defenders who could be surplus to requirements – because he is the most consistent.

That is the view of former Gunners defender Nigel Winterburn, who has spoken about how the team could shape up next season at the back.

Arsenal look set for a new-look defence next season with Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba potentially first choice centre-backs.

Mikel Arteta is closing in on a deal for Lille defender Magalhaes, while Saliba signed last summer but was loaned back to Saint Etienne.

It means several defenders already at the club could be set for the chopping block before the new campaign gets underway.

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Left-footed centre-back Pablo Mari will remain, but Sokratis, Calum Chambers, David Luiz, and Holding could struggle for game time.

Greek centre-back Sokratis looks the most likely to leave, Luiz has signed an extension to his deal, while Chambers could go out on loan.

And Winterburn reckons Holding is the best of the remaining bunch when he is fit.

Asked who should make way for Gabriel, he told bookmakers.co.uk : “And if not, are they happy to sit on the bench and wait for opportunities? The one player out of the four that I think might be worth holding on to is Rob Holding.

“Up until his injury I would have said he was Arsenal’s most consistent defender, but he’s struggled to get back to full fitness and get that consistency back.

“I don’t know whether there’s a slight doubt that he’s going to ever get that consistency back, but before his injury he’s the one centre-half I felt was able to offer that.”

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