Arsene Wenger has praised summer arrivals Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding after the duo impressed during Arsenal's 2-1 win over the MLS All Stars on Thursday (28 July). The former came on as a second-half substitute, while the latter played the entire 90 minutes.
The two were making their debut for the club and the French manager seemed pleased with their contributions. The Switzerland international came on for Francis Coquelin at the interval and was involved in most of the play from a deep lying midfield role. He had a 94.2% pass completion rate after attempting 58 passes in the 45 minutes he spent on the pitch.
"He did adjust very well. His passing was clean and technically he did well. Overall I believe his first game was encouraging," Wenger said of Xhaka after the 2-1 win against the MLS All Stars, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
Holding, on the other hand was the only player in the Arsenal lineup to play the entire 90 minutes and Wenger was impressed with his ability to read and cope with a game of that stature on his first appearance for the club. The 20-year-old defender started the game with Krystian Bielik as his partner, but finished with Calum Chambers.
"I thought he [Holding] did very well. I must say he looked composed, mastered the pressure well, wasn't nervous and he reads the game very well," the French coach added.
"I think it's very interesting to see that such a young boy like him can cope with a game like that."
The former Bolton defender, however, is unlikely to get regular game time in the Premier League this season after Wenger confirmed that he is on the lookout for a more experienced defender. Per Mertesacker's recent injury is likely to hasten that search, but could also open the door for Holding to play a more important role at least in the domestic cup competitions.