Arsenal defender Rob Holding has told Unai Emery he is available for selection this Thursday, according to The Daily Mail. After 10 months on the sidelines, Holding is angling for a return to action in the Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Emery will be weighing up his options but he might be tempted to stick Holding straight back in. David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have both struggled for form while Shkodran Mustafi remains frozen out. Konstantinos Mavropanos is still injured and Calum Chambers is inexperienced.
All of these factors could give Holding the opportunity to make an instant return. The 23-year-old has only just returned to full training after spending 10 months out with an ACL injury.
Holding could earn his first Arsenal senior appearance since December 2018 on Thursday. After individual errors cost Arsenal two points at the weekend, Emery is surely considering it and Holding declaring himself fit has given the Gunners boss a dilemma.
This is definitely a dilemma for Emery. On the one hand, Arsenal need to make instant improvements at the back after last Sunday’s shocker. Sokratis gifted Watford a route back into the game with a misplaced pass in his own box and Luiz then gave away a penalty for the equaliser.
On paper, Holding is the instant fix that Emery is desperate for. But the flip side of the coin says that he should not be rushed back. ACL injuries are complicated and Arsenal need Holding for the long-term. Emery needs to balance these considerations when making his decision.