Arsenal boss offers injury update on Bellerin & Holding plus latest on Ozil
Unai Emery provided an update on Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle United
Unai Emery provided a brief update on Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle United this afternoon.
Bellerin has been on the sidelines since suffering a knee ligament injury against Chelsea back in January but he’s been stepping-up his rehabilitation at London Colney over the summer.
It was previously thought that Bellerin wouldn’t be back in contention until October but Emery has now suggested that the right-back could be available again in around a month’s time meaning a comeback has been pencilled-in for mid-September.
Holding is ahead of Bellerin in his recovery as the centre-back damaged his knee ligaments against Manchester United in December 2018 and he’s already featured for the U23s last week having returned to full training. Emery has revealed Holding will step-up his recovery by playing again in a behind closed doors friendly tomorrow.
In Holding’s absence, Calum Chambers has taken his chance and he impressed alongside Sokratis at the heart of defence against Newcastle today. New signing David Luiz was named on the bench having only taken part in limited training with the team since arriving from Chelsea on deadline day.
Kieran Tierney – who joined from Celtic on Thursday – missed Arsenal’s opening win at St James’ Park with a groin injury but with Holding and Bellerin set to return to the fold over the coming weeks, Emery is confident his defence will be stronger this season.
Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil didn’t travel to Newcastle today following fresh security incidents last week but Emery isn’t sure when they will resume training or if they’ll be available to face Burnley next weekend.
Emery told Arsenal.com:
on having many senior defenders missing and the performance of Chambers…
Really, last year for Calum Chambers was a very good year because he played all the matches with Fulham. They played him as centre-back in a three, in a two and they played him as a midfielder. From pre-season, he deserved to play today in the first XI and he was very focused and with Sokratis was also very serious. I want to have very competitive players in each position. With David Luiz, with Holding when he is coming back to help us, with training regularly and playing with the under-23s because he will play again tomorrow. And with Hector Bellerin, one month more. Today we also had Sead out and the injury to Kieran Tierney. I think we can and will want to become stronger defensively, but above all being one offensive team.
on how Mesut and Sead are – and if they could feature against Burnley…
The club is managing that circumstance. We want to be with them as soon as possible and with normality in training and normality to be ready to play. I don’t know now [if they will play next week].
It will be a great to have Holding back over the coming weeks while Bellerin’s return in late September will also be a huge boost as his absence has been sorely felt despite Ainsley Maitland-Niles producing some solid performances at right-back.
Hopefully Tierney can get himself fit again soon too as he can make a big difference at left-back and I think our defence has the potential to be a lot stronger this season if our key defenders can stay fit.
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