Ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Leicester on Sunday, Rob Holding has played down the training fight between David Luiz and Dani Ceballos whilst talking to Sky Sports, via Football Daily.
The Athletic (subscription required) shockingly reported news of the incident on Thursday, suggest that Luiz hit Ceballos in the face – drawing blood – after he was left angered by a challenge.
Ceballos, who is in his second consecutive loan spell with the Gunners from Real Madrid, immediately shut down the claims, but the damage has already been done and Holding and Mikel Arteta’s comments since confirm that something happened.
Holding has poured cold water on the incident by suggesting that training is meant to be ‘competitive’, suggesting that the fight was just a moment that boiled over.
The centre-back also insists that everyone is ‘friends’ again in the dressing room, with all of Arsenal’s first-team back to ‘laughing and joking’.
?"Everything that happened was competitive tackling, everyone is friends again and laughing and joking, it is all good"
Arsenal defender Rob Holding has played down the training ground incident between David Luiz & Dani Ceballos pic.twitter.com/Rvodv9KmQs
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 20, 2020
“It’s just competitive training that’s all we want it to be. We want it to be match-like, you’ve got train as if it was a match, so you want to fight and compete for the ball.”
“If it goes over and it can’t go over and display into something that’s not part of the game…”
“So everything that happened was just competitive tackling and just a bit of competitiveness for the boys, which is not a problem at all.”
“Everyone’s friends again, everyone’s laughing and joking.”
Arteta actually took a part of his press conference to state that he will do whatever it takes to find out who and how this incident was leaked to the media.
This was the last thing that the Gunners needed to come out ahead of their tie against Leeds, with the pressure on them to perform after the shock defeat to Aston Villa before the break.