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Report: £110,000-a-week Arsenal man will miss start of new season, may push Emery to buy

Arsenal hoped that Hector Bellerin would make his return from injury in time to play a part in pre-season, according to the Evening Standard.

But they report that the Spaniard will be forced to sit out several opening weeks of the new campaign as his rehabilitation from a knee injury suffered in January continues.

There is apparently no fixed return date in mind for the £110,000-a-week (Spotrac) defender at this moment in time, but it’s clear he’ll have to be patient.

The report also says that the negative prognosis may force Unai Emery to ramp up his interest in Thomas Meunier, because of Stephan Lichtsteiner’s departure.

(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

That leaves Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who endured a torrid time in the Europa League final and is a midfielder by trade, as the only real right back option to kick off the season.

So Emery may accelerate his pursuit of Meunier, but that could create a tricky selection dilemma when Bellerin returns.

However, if Emery wants Meunier as his first choice regardless, it would take the pressure off Bellerin to rush back, allowing him to fully recover.

Bellerin could even be sold if there are two senior, high-earning right backs battling for one spot, but obviously the focus is on getting him back to full fitness first.

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