Nobbs hails ‘ray of sunshine’ Holding as Arsenal pair step up injury returns

Jordan Nobbs has described Rob Holding as a 'ray of sunshine' during their recovery from knee injuri

Jordan Nobbs has described Rob Holding as a 'ray of sunshine' during their recovery from knee injuries. Picture: PA - Credit: Archant

Arsenal Women’s star Jordan Nobbs has paid tribute to Rob Holding, describing him as a ‘ray of sunshine’ during the pair’s recovery from respective ACL injuries this year.

Nobbs has recently returned from a ten-month injury layoff and is making progress with her return after playing 90 minutes in a 5-0 win over London City Lionesses on Sunday and has been called up to the latest England squad by Phil Neville.

Holding - who suffered his own knee injury in December - has featured for the U23s three times this season as part of his recovery and could make his return to first-team action against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup tonight.

The pair worked closely during their recoveries and Nobbs was keen to pay tribute to Holding.

"He was a ray of sunshine, the most upbeat and happiest guy in the gym," Nobbs said.

"We did our injury rehab very close together so he was a big part of being in the gym and getting through some of the sessions.

"I'm so glad to see him back, as well as myself, and I can't wait to watch him in the first team very soon."

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For Nobbs, her reintegration into the women's team has been gradual over the past month.

A behind-closed-doors cameo against West Ham was followed by further second-half displays against Spurs, the Hammers again and Fiorentina.

She then started her first game of the season away to Manchester United before following that up on Sunday.

The gradual return has been aided by the additions Joe Montemurro has made to the midfield.

New signing Jill Roord has hit the ground running with two goals, while Leah Williamson has also filled in at the base of midfield, something made possible by the addition of Jennifer Beattie in defence.

"Joe's grown the squad, so people will be brought in when ready," said Nobbs.

"We're in a great position and on Sunday we were able to rotate the team, get people minutes who needed them and slowly build to a squad as close to fully fit for Joe to choose from."

In Nobbs' return Montemurro has had nothing but praise and stated that last season, she looked a more 'measured and efficient' midfielder than when he joined.

"I'm a bit rusty and the moment but I'd agree with that," she laughed.

"When Joe came in, especially last season, I felt I was in an incredible place.

"I've been out for ten months so I'm not quite back to that yet but I know Joe and the squad can get me back there."

An Arsenal icon, Nobbs has been at the club for nine years and since returning from injury has played twice at the Gunners' home, Meadow Park.

Both times she was met with great applause from the home support, especially when she made her FA Women's Super League return on the opening day of the season.

"The fans have been amazing from minute one and they still are now," she said.

"Irrelevant of my injury, in my nine years here, they've shown phenomenal support and they're a big part of the team too.