Arsene Wenger decided to drop Rob Holding for Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City on Saturday because the 21-year-old was suffering a dip in confidence following the Gunners’ first game of the season.
Holding started at the heart of the Arsenal defence that shipped three goals to Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on the opening day of the new campaign.
After a surprise breakout season last year, Holding failed to impress against the Foxes and was replaced by Shkodran Mustafi for the trip up north to face Stoke.
Wenger said that Holding “had lost a little bit of confidence” following the win over Leicester after he was withdrawn early to make room for Olivier Giroud as the Gunners trailed 3-2 at the time.
Wenger persisted with three at the back against Stoke, with left backs Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac both partnering Mustafi in the middle as they suffered their first defeat of the young season.
The Frenchman did not comment on whether or not Holding would be brought back into the team for Sunday’s trip to Anfield but with Laurent Koscielny returning from suspension, it does seem less likely.