Arsenal defender Rob Holding is unlikely to play against Watford in today’s Premier League clash. Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Watford for Sunday’s late kick-off, Unai Emery has decided to leave Holding with the U23s.
The young Gunners played against Leicester City yesterday in a Premier League 2 clash. Arsenal won 2-1 and Holding was included – indicating that he will not be in action for the first-team this weekend.
Holding plays 90 minutes
Holding started in central defence for Steve Bould’s side as they played at The Emirates Stadium. He contributed to a win and, vitally, got 90 minutes under his belt as he steps up his recovery.
The 23-year-old has been injured since December 2018 and he had to undergo surgery on his ACL. He is slowly but surely getting back to full fitness and Arsenal have plenty of games coming up so he needs to be fresh.
Luiz and Sokratis likely to continue
Emery’s decision to keep Holding with the U23s hints that he will pick an unchanged central defensive pairing. David Luiz and Sokratis worked together against Tottenham Hotspur and they are likely to continue.
Calum Chambers will probably keep his place on the bench. And Shkodran Mustafi will continue to be frozen out. The German defender’s chances will be even more limited when Holding is back.
Mavropanos also features
Holding was not the only defender making a return from injury for the U23s. Konstantinos Mavropanos started alongside Holding in central defence and played 67 minutes before Harrison Clarke came on.
The 21-year-old Greek defender is currently out with a groin injury. He is slightly behind Holding in terms of recovery. But when he is back, Mustafi might slide even further down the pecking order.