Arsenal defender David Luiz is facing an ‘extended period’ on the sidelines as a result of a neck injury, which could also force the Gunners to cancel plans to send Rob Holding out on loan.
Arsenal have brought in £22m signing Gabriel Magalhaes this summer, as well as making Pablo Mari a permanent member of the squad and William Saliba concluding his Saint-Etienne loan. On top of Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi, the flexibility was there to let Holding seek opportunities elsewhere.
Now, however, The Athletic reports that Luiz is suffering with a neck complaint and potentially faces up to six weeks out of action. Not only is the Brazilian therefore a doubt for the 2020/21 opener against Fulham on Saturday, he could be absent for six further matches in all competitions.
Luiz hasn’t been taking part in full training sessions in preparation for the weekend trip across London to Craven Cottage and is said that Arsenal are cautiously waiting to see how the 33-year-old responds to treatment before making a decision on his fitness.
The problem was initially suffered in the Community Shield against Liverpool last month, before it was then aggravated in training.
The Athletic adds that Holding was expected to join Newcastle on loan following the Community Shield. But Arsenal delayed making a final decision and the subsequent circumstances have now put him to starting contentions against Fulham.
That is largely because Mustafi and Mari are recovering from injury, as is fringe defender Calum Chambers. Holding is therefore now in a position where he is one of few fit centre-back options available to manager Mikel Arteta, alongside Saliba and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Gabriel is badly lacking match practice as a result of not playing since March because Ligue 1 was cancelled.
Sokratis has also been linked with a summer exit, with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis recently confirming interest in the Greek international.
Source : 90min