Holding praises defensive colleagues as Chambers shines in Carabao Cup win while Bellerin and Tierney make injury comebacks
PUBLISHED: 09:25 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 25 September 2019
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Rob Holding was full of praise for his fellow Arsenal defenders after a number of impressive performances and feel-good injury returns in the 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest at the Emirates on Tuesday night.
Calum Chambers set up three of the Gunners' five goals - including a brilliant volleyed cross for Gabriel Martinelli's opener - as he impressed at full-back.
Kieran Tierney also shone at left-back on his full debut for the club following a spell on the sidelines after signing from Celtic on deadline day.
Hector Bellerin got the biggest cheer of the night when he made his long awaited return from an ACL injury as a second-half substitute, and he then set up Joe Willock's goal with just his third touch.
Holding - also making his return from a long-term knee injury - was quick to praise the trio.
"He (Bellerin) comes on straight away, has a touch and shot that ricocheted out and then he slides in for the assist.
"He'll be over the moon with that and I think Calum Chambers had three assists? He's playing really well at the moment.
When asked about Tierney, Holding added: "He's a top-quality lad and he's a great lift in the changing room as well.
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"He's a really nice guy and he's settled in really well.
"I'm so happy for him to play and get 60 minutes under his belt."
The returns of Holding, Bellerin and Tierney provide plenty of competition for places in the Arsenal back four, with Chambers, David Luiz, Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Shkodran Mustafi also vying for the starting XI spots.
Holding believes the competition is a positive though, saying: "With the way we're working in the team from the lads that are starting in the Prem games and the lads that are still pushing to get in that team provides healthy competition.
"It's bringing out the best in everyone."
The 24-year-old was also keen to praise Martinelli after he scored twice on his full debut for the club, including a superb curled finish from outside the box in the dying seconds of the game to make it 5-0.
"He's a sharp lad and he's a natural finisher," said Holding.
"You saw that header, he's a small lad and he got up there and won it.
"He's impressive so hopefully he can continue with that."