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Who is Joel Lopez? Could Arsenal talent be in for debut tonight

Crawley Town v Arsenal U21 - EFL Trophy

Arsenal

Who is Joel Lopez? Could Arsenal talent be in for debut tonight

Arsenal face something of a defensive shortage ahead of their Europa League clash with Irish outfit Dundalk tonight. 

David Luiz has joined fellow defenders Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, and Callum Chambers on the treatment table. 

It leaves Arsenal looking likely to partner Gabriel Magalhaes and Shkodran Mustafi at centre-back, with, potentially, Granit Xhaka or Kieran Tierney potentially dropping in if Mikel Arteta goes with a back-three. 

If that is the case, and with Bukayo Saka another defensive option fighting to be fit after a knock, there is a very real chance that Arsenal will be lacking in defensive options for the game. 

Arsenal U23 Training Session

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – JULY 28:  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

So could we be about to see Joel Lopez for the first time in the Arsenal first-team?

 

Tierney’s drop centrally and Saka’s potential absence leaves a gap at left-back in the first-team for Lopez, who is one of the only other defensive options on the Arsenal roster for the Europa League, after the likes of William Saliba and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were both omitted. 

The 18-year-old joined Arsenal from Barcelona back in 2018, following in the footsteps of both Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin in making the switch from the Catalan giants. 

Lopez is yet to feature in a senior matchday squad for Arsenal but if there was ever a chance for him to get that opportunity then tonight would seem more likely than any ever before.

If that is the case, and Arsenal find themselves in a comfortable position, then maybe Gunners fans could find themselves witnessing a surprise debut in the form of the teenage Spaniard.

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