Lockdown life is treating us all differently, and we’ve been checking in on the pros to see how they’re dealing with it in our new series, ‘The Dial Up’. The latest player to answer our call was Arsenal’s young centre back, Rob Holding, who’s been spending lockdown in... Lake Tahoe?!?

Rob Holding is something of an anomaly: here’s a young man playing Premier League football for one of the biggest teams in the world, benefitting from all the spoils that come with it, and yet he is so level headed; this is a lad who went backpacking in Thailand in £5 hostels with his mates just before he signed for Arsenal. Talking to him is literally like talking to one of your mates as well – the guy is so chill – as we found out when speaking to him about everything from learning the piano and guitar to his cunning plan for fooling everyone into thinking he’s at home when really he’s living it up by the large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In reality though, Holding is looking forward to getting back into action and forcing his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans. That and he’s played enough COD to last a lifetime – a feeling most of us can relate to currently. Since his move to Arsenal from Bolton, he’s defied expectation, showing himself to be one of the Gunners’ more dependable defenders, and he's eager to continue his development and possibly force his way into the England setup. And if you’ve ever found yourself wondering how the celebrations after winning the FA Cup would compare to a full-moon party in Thailand? Well under those very specific parameters, Holding’s your man. Not many Premier League footballers you can say that about.

The main thing before I moved to Arsenal was that I sat down with my dad and he said: 'do you feel good enough to play for Arsenal?' I was just like 'yeah, I think I can do it'. I had no real idea if I could play at that level or not but being around players like Arsenal have lifted my standards and my technical ability"
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Backpacking was something I had planned from Christmas that year. It was me and five mates, we just decided, let’s do it. I have three weeks off during June so let’s go and do it. So we did the full-moon party, went up to Chiangmai, did all the zip lines, washing the elephants and all that stuff. It was just £5 hostels every night with bunk beds and loads of people in one room"
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Watch the full interview with Rob Holding on IGTV.