Arsenal defender David Luiz faces an “extended period” on the sidelines with a neck injury, which could also force the Gunners to cancel plans to send Rob Holding on loan.
Arsenal have made £ 22million signing Gabriel Magalhaes this summer, while making Pablo Mari a permanent member of the squad and William Saliba in closing his loan at Saint Etienne. Besides Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi, the flexibility was there to let Holding look for opportunities elsewhere.
Now, however, The Athletic reports that Luiz suffers from a neck complaint and is potentially at risk of up to six weeks of inactivity. Not only is the Brazilian therefore uncertain for the 2020/21 opener against Fulham on Saturday, but he could be out for six more matches in all competitions.
Luiz has not been on full training sessions ahead of the weekend’s trip through London to Craven Cottage and Arsenal is said to be cautiously waiting to see how the 33-year-old reacts to the treatment before taking a decision on his physical form.
The problem was first suffered during Community Shield against Liverpool last month, before worsening in training.
The Athletic add that Holding was due to join Newcastle on loan after the Community Shield. But Arsenal delayed making the final decision and the circumstances that followed have now put them in contention against Fulham.
A big part of that is because Mustafi and Mari are recovering from injury, as is marginal defender Calum Chambers. Holding is therefore now in a position where he is one of the few center-back options available to manager Mikel Arteta, alongside Saliba and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Gabriel is sorely lacking in match training because he has not played since March because Ligue 1 has been canceled.
Sokratis is also linked with a summer outing, with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis recently confirming his interest in the Greece international.
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