Arsenal have confirmed the signing of defender Rob Holding on a long-term contract from Bolton Wanderers. The England Under-21 international moves to north London for an undisclosed fee less than 12 months on from making his senior debut.
The Daily Mail understands the Gunners have paid £2m for the 20-year-old who, after joining Bolton aged seven, made his club debut in August 2015 in the League Cup first round against Burton Albion, followed by his league bow in the Championship loss to Middlesbrough. From December he was a regular in the Trotters' first team and moves to the Emirates Stadium with 12 months remaining on his contract.
Despite Bolton being relegated to League One, Holding's showings were a rare positive, seeing him scoop the club's player-of-the-season award. The deal comes on the eve of Arsenal's first pre-season friendly against Lens and is the third signing made by the club this summer.
A statement from Bolton read: "Everyone at Bolton Wanderers would like to thank Rob for his efforts during his time with the club, and wish him well in his future career."
Holding's success during the 2015-16 campaign saw him included in the England Under-21 squad which won the Toulon Tournament, with the versatile defender selected alongside new Arsenal teammate Calum Chambers.
Holding joins Granit Xhaka and Takuma Asano as a new face at Arsenal, and further additions are expected if the club are to compete for silverware. "We remain in the market, so stay close to Arsenal.com for any further transfer news," a statement posted on the website said.
Manager Arsene Wenger has remained tight-lipped over Arsenal's transfer plans, but chief executive Ivan Gazidis suggested the club will continue to be frugal as their rivals out-spend them.
"We are making progress in what is a fiercely competitive world, against competitors that have the capability to spend far more money than we do," he told ESPN. "We are doing it by being very, very disciplined; spending money where we believe it makes a difference, but also giving young players a chance and believing in ourselves and our values."