In this weekend’s clash against Manchester City, Rob Holding was slated to get the start. In fact, he was selected and like Tierney against West Ham, he pulled out of the match during warm ups. It was reported that it was a hamstring injury, and after the match Arteta told reporters that he wasn’t sure of the severity of the the injury. In came Luiz and we had to wait for reports on Holding’s health.
Today, Daily Mail reports that Rob Holding could miss 3-4 weeks with his hamstring injury. What we had hoped was simply precautionary with hamstring tightness has turned out to be a bit more serious. We will wait for the club to make an official statement or place him on their team update before Rapid Wien, but Holding has been someone regularly selected to start this year.
Arteta will face an interesting decision. Many are already clamoring for Saliba to be given a chance, but we have seen Arteta opt fora different back line when Holding doesn’t feature. While everyone is racing to see Saliba given minutes, Arteta seems to favor a back 3 of Luiz, Gabriel, and Tierney with a Saka or Maitland-Niles as the left wingback.
The rise of Gabriel as the standout central defender makes this decision a little bit easier for Arteta. He is consistent, solid, and we have seen him be the best on the pitch in his first month winning our Player of the Month award.
Don’t hold your breath for Saliba quite yet, but he moves up the pecking order. Unfortunately for Saliba he was not registered within Arsenal’s group stage Europa League squad which will limit the amount of games he can appear in.
A big blow for Rob Holding who has suffered from nagging injury problems throughout his attempts to get in the side, none larger than his near 250 day absence for a Cruciate Ligament Rupture in 2018-19. Seemed like he was just getting going and staking him claim on that spot.
This absence could see him miss Arsenal’s next 5 matches including: Rapid Wien, Leicester City, Dundalk, Manchester United, and Molde. Depending on his recovery from there, Arsenal play Aston Villa on November 21st.