Arsenal are not too far off a double injury boost. As confirmed by the club’s official website, Rob Holding and Emile Smith Rowe will be available for senior selection soon.
Both players featured in Friday night’s U23 game against Everton. Holding played the full 90 minutes and Smith Rowe got 80 minutes under his belt. Smith Rowe then played the full 90 minutes in the EFL Trophy clash with Northampton Town on Tuesday night.
Holding is returning from an injury to his left knee. This has kept him out since December 2018 but he is nearing his first-team return. The 23-year-old’s rehabilitation has gone well and he is nearly ready to return to the first-team.
Unai Emery’s defensive options will be boosted by Holding’s long-awaited return. And Smith Rowe provides another option in attack. The 19-year-old is almost back to full fitness following his absence with a groin injury.
The North London derby will come too soon for this pair and Emery would be unlikely to risk them anyway. But with the Europa League campaign coming up, two new faces provide a timely boost.
Holding’s return will give Emery a full complement at the back. In central defence, he will be able to rotate Holding with Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Davis Luiz. It would also allow him to move Shkodran Mustafi on.
Smith Rowe is likely to play less games than Holding. But his return from injury is a boost for the Europa League and the EFL Cup. Alternatively, Emery could loan him out again after sending him to Red Bull Leipzig last year.