According to Football.London, there are increasing fears that Arsenal defender Rob Holding could be sidelined for the remainder of this season after the English centre-back sustained a severe injury in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Wednesday night. Unai Emery was forced to replace him in the first half so that he could get immediate treatment but as it turns out, the damage was already done by then.
There are growing concerns that Holding has suffered cruciate ligament damage which could potentially keep him out for nine months, according to a report by Football.London. The same report also mentioned a recent interview where Unai Emery revealed that the initial diagnosis is ‘not good’ and went on to add, “We are waiting.
“The club can give us communication about this. The best news for me is [being] calm, but the doctors are looking at him and they are going to communicate with us. “At the moment, the first news is not good.”
This untimely injury will be a big blow for the Gunners but an even bigger blow for Holding who was slowly establishing himself as a regular first-team starter under Unai Emery this season. The 23-year-old had already made 16 appearances for the North London heavyweights this term in all competitions but will now face the possibility of a lengthy layoff.
Since his move from Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2016, the English defender initially struggled to break into the Arsenal first-team. However, with a lot of hard work and self-improvement on the training ground, he was finally handed a few first-team opportunities by Arsene Wenger last season. He has now become one of the best young defenders in England, so it’s a real shame that he faces such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Emery needs to address the hole left by Holding by either incorporating someone else into his first-team or else diving into the winter transfer market to find a suitable replacement. As it stands, Stephan Lichsteiner would probably be used as a makeshift centre-back with the Gunners boss seeming adamant on playing with a back three.
Holding’s recent injury will also affect Arsenal’s chances of claiming a top 4 place unless Emery can find a quick solution to his defensive woes at the Emirates Stadium.
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