Rob Holding is set to return for Arsenal at Nottingham Forest this week.
The Gunners travel to Forest in the League Cup on Tuesday, with Holding back in the squad after nine months out through injury.
Arsenal simply said Holding is “back in contention” for the third round League Cup tie and alongside the likes of Kieran Tierney, Dinos Mavropano and Hector Bellerin playing for the U23 side last Friday, all of a sudden there is good news in terms of defensive injuries for Arsenal.
Alexandre Lacazette is still out after injuring his left ankle, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is suspended after his red card against Aston Villa on Sunday. Lacazette is expected to return in October, as Arsenal’s injury woes are clearing up.
Holding, 24, was in sensational form last season before he cruelly suffered a serious knee injury in a Premier League game against Manchester United in December.
This will be a huge boost for Unai Emery, as his defense continues to make basic errors and they’ve now given up 10 goals in their first six games of the new PL season.
Sokratis and David Luiz have looked shaky as a partnership and if Holding can regain his form quickly, he will be a guaranteed starter in this Arsenal side.
Before injury cut short his 2018-19 campaign, Holding was being touted as an England international.
The dominant center back will want to make up for lost time and his presence at the heart of Arsenal’s defense saw them go on a 22-game unbeaten run in the opening months of last season.
Following their battling 3-2 win with 10 men for over half of their clash against Aston Villa on Sunday, Arsenal sit in fourth place on 11 points. Considering all of their issues so far, that’s not a bad start.
They have conceded at least twice in each of their last four PL games, and Holding’s return should help them improve their woeful defensive record.
His injury had a negative impact last season, and his return should have a hugely positive impact this season.