Arsenal boss Unai Emery challenges Rob Holding to claim starting spot

Arsenal defender Rob Holding
Image: Unai Emery wants Rob Holding to fight for a regular starting spot

Unai Emery has challenged Rob Holding to earn a permanent place at the heart of his defence by impressing in Arsenal's Carabao Cup clash with Brentford on Wednesday.

The Bees travel to the Emirates Stadium looking to cause a third-round upset and Emery is expected to make wholesale changes to his team, with Holding looking to make his second start of the campaign.

After facing Vorskla in the Europa League last Thursday, former England U21 international Holding came off the bench as Sokratis Papastathopoulos limped off injured against Everton, and Emery is keen to see him fight for a regular spot.

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"We need every player when chances and opportunities are coming because we need to also take more players to play," he said.

"Like on Sunday, for example, after Sokratis' injury it was important how Rob played and helped the team to find the performance to win against Everton.

"This match against Brentford is also a good opportunity for Rob to continue taking confidence, taking minutes and taking also our ideas of playing with minutes.

"I want to look at him also with our best performance and for him to stay in first XI."

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For us, every competition is important and also this is one that we can play and find our way towards this title.
Unai Emery

Beaten finalists last season, Emery will be keen to secure silverware in his debut campaign as head coach of the Gunners having replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer - but conceded he will make changes against Brentford.

"For us, every competition is important and also this is one that we can play and find our way towards this title," he said.

"Also we can give players chances to play, chances to take confidence and minutes in the game.

Rob Holding
Image: Holding made 26 appearances for Arsenal last season

"Also for us, the performance in this competition is to improve things and above all to think in one title and one way for the first match against Brentford.

"Every competition there is one important thing - for us it is the opportunity to do well in this competition, looking forward to the title looking to ask the players for this performance.

"One possibility is to give the players who are playing less in one competition to take minutes and this responsibility going forward."

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