ROB Holding can’t seem to put a foot wrong at the Emirates but that might be good news for Wanderers.

Twelve months since news first broke of Arsenal’s interest in the academy graduate, his meteoric rise shows no sign of slowing down.

A certain amount of humble pie has been eaten in North London already. Many Gunners fans were nonplussed when Arsene Wenger shelled out £2million to bring in a young player who had little more than a season’s worth of experience in a Bolton team relegated from the Championship.

Those same people are now clamouring for his regular involvement, even at the expense of more recognised and established defensive types.

Up to last night, Arsenal had won 10 of the 13 games Holding had started, and he had recently got the nod for high-profile games against Manchester City and Manchester United.

Wenger even pegged him as a future captain of the club – a mantle he had been expecting to take at Wanderers had he stayed another season.

The £2million fee paid up front by Arsenal last season remained a bone of contention with many Bolton fans but has since been supplemented by six-figure bonus payments for an England Under-21 cap and his Premier League debut. It is understood further payments are linked with the Gunners’ success in the Premier League and Champions League and, crucially, his full international debut.

Should Holding continue to shine for the remaining games of the season, it might not be beyond the realms of possibility Gareth Southgate would look to him for a friendly game against France in June.

Southgate has already worked closely with Holding at the victorious Toulon Tournament last summer and had been watching the Tameside-born defender in Bolton colours for a number of months before the rest of the league caught on.

Wanderers could command £5m in total for a player who was schooled from the age of seven but had made just 30 senior appearances.

Wenger was optimistic Holding will develop his leadership qualities in the future, potentially leading to a captaincy.

“He’s intelligent, but at the moment he’s still a bit introverted, he’s not out-speaking at the moment,” he said. “Certainly he feels he has not this kind of responsibility at the moment.

“When you start as a young player, most of the time you focus on your own performance and make sure that you are at the level.

“Later, when you are a bit more dominant and confident, you can go into a leadership role.”