Arsenal Fitness Update: Holding, Ceballos & Willian newly injured / Mustafi returns & Mari close

Arsenal Fitness Update: Holding, Ceballos & Willian newly injured / Mustafi returns & Mari close

Panic at the back

Arsenal’s centre-back situation is exceptionally congested for a side which, up until recently, desperately required reinforcement in the position.

On the roster at present: David Luiz, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding, Sokratis, Shkrodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari.

Ahead of their Europa League opener against Rapid Wien on Thursday, however, Arsenal had only two centre-backs available – Gabriel Magalhaes and David Luiz, both of whom started and played well against Manchester City last weekend.

With Saliba and Sokratis not available for selection having not been registered, Arteta’s options have thinned.

The news broke today, though, that Mustafi has been deemed fit to travel with the Gunners squad to Austria. This will come as a big boost for Arteta, with massive games against Leicester City and Manchester United on the horizon. An opportunity to rest players is key.

Thomas Partey, David Luiz and Alex Runarsson were all seen joining up with the Arsenal squad, with the latter potentially in line for his debut.

Mixed news

What is less positive, however, are some key absences. Dani Ceballos and Willian have been deemed unable to travel due to small injuries picked up against Manchester City.

The Spaniard has ‘slight ankle bruising,’ with Brazilian Willian suffering with a ‘slight calf issue.’ The biggest problem for Arteta is Rob Holding. Injured during the warm up-in Manchester, it has been revealed that he will be out of action for around three weeks.

Arsenal Fitness Update: Holding, Ceballos & Willian newly injured / Mustafi returns & Mari close

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL – NOVEMBER 06: Dani Ceballos of Arsenal FC leaves the field with pain in his leg during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Vitoria Guimaraes and Arsenal FC at Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques on November 06, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Arsenal should expect further imminent reinforcement through Calum Chambers, who has returned to full training, and is building up match fitness. Spanish centre-half Pablo Mari is also aiming to be in full training within 10 days. Arteta’s defensive issues are certainly easing.

Finally, Gabriel Martinelli, the young Brazilian who burst onto the scene in 2019/20, hopes to return to the pitch by the end of the calendar year.

See also: Thomas Partey in line to make first Arsenal start against Rapid Wein as Ghanaian travels to Austria

Arsenal boss Arteta explains decision to drop Gabriel in favour of David Luiz vs Liverpool


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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