ROB HOLDING admits he could not have scripted a better comeback after ending a ten-month injury nightmare by scoring with his first touch as stand-in Arsenal captain.
The defender had just taken the armband from the substituted Mesut Ozil when he powered home the Gunners’ second goal during Tuesday’s 5-0 Carabao Cup demolition of Nottingham Forest. The 24-year-old played the full 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium on his first-team return after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last December.
On a night full of positives for Gunners boss Unai Emery, Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli scored twice on his full debut, Hector Bellerin joined Holding in returning from serious knee ligament damage and £25million signing Kieran Tierney made an overdue debut after being sidelined by a groin problem.
Holding said: ‘(It was) the dream comeback really for me. My first touch as the captain — you can’t write that any better. We’d had a couple of corners just before so I could feel it was coming, then Reiss [Nelson] put a great ball in and I managed to get my head to it.
‘It was a proud moment for me to put the armband on. Credit to the club and medical staff and the fitness people. They’ve put their arms around me and got me through it.’