Emery reveals Arsenal injury concern ahead of Tottenham plus Ozil & Holding updates

By on August 29, 2019

Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal

Unai Emery has revealed Alexandre Lacazette is nursing an ankle injury ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Tottenham plus he provided updates on Mesut Ozil and Rob Holding.

Lacazette was an unused substitute during Arsenal’s opening weekend victory at Newcastle United but returned to the starting line-up to play 70 minutes – and score – during the 2-1 win over Burnley the following week.

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The 28-year-old hitman was then surprisingly named on the bench for Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool last weekend with the French international only coming on during the closing stages of the second half at Anfield.

Emery has now revealed that Lacazette has been nursing a niggling ankle injury and although he says the problem has improved this week, the Arsenal boss refused to confirm whether the striker would start against Tottenham.

Mesut Ozil is yet to feature for Arsenal this season after missing training due to security issues while he’s also been suffering from illness and the playmaker failed to make the travelling squad for the Liverpool game last weekend. However, Emery has confirmed Ozil has trained well this week and should be available for selection against Tottenham on Sunday.

Rob Holding has stepped up his recovery from a serious knee injury recently and there were hopes he could return to the first team squad this weekend after playing 90 minutes for the Arsenal U23’s last Friday.

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However, Emery says Holding isn’t ready to return to the first team fold just yet so the centre-back will continue to work on his match fitness before being considered for selection by the Gunners boss.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Tottenham, Emery told Arsenal.com:

on the latest team news…
Rob Holding is training with us, playing with the under-23s but he is not 100 per cent to play on Sunday with us. We are working with him one way, playing with the under-23s and training with us, and also testing his performance each day and with each match with the under-23s. We think now he is getting better, he can play one match but not with the intensity we want on Sunday, for example.

on Mesut Ozil…
This week he is training well, he is progressing physically better and doing normal work for us. He is going to be closer for us and available for Sunday I think.

on playing Pepe, Auba and Laca together…
Yes, but be calm. My decision in each moment is thinking about how we are. For example with Lacazette he had a problem with his ankle This week is the best week of the last three weeks. He’s getting better and feeling better with his ankle, it’s very positive.

Arsenal fans will be hoping Lacazette is passed fit to start on Sunday as they’re desperate to see their new-look front three starting together after Nicolas Pepe lined-up alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last time out.

It will be interesting to see if Ozil is recalled to the squad but it’s difficult to see Emery throwing him straight into action so a place on the bench could be the best he can hope for this weekend.

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