Football News

Arsenal news: Unai Emery provides fitness update on Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding

By Chris Smith

Published: 20:08, 11 August 2019

Unai Emery has said Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are nearing a return to action following Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United.

The win at St James’ Park saw Emery field a centre-back pairing of Sokratis and Calum Chambers, who spent last season on loan at relegated Fulham.

Emery’s fitness update: Five key things to know…

  • Arsenal signed defenders David Luiz and Kieran Tierney this summer.
  • But Emery started with Monreal, Sokratis, Chambers and Maitland-Niles on Sunday.
  • The Spaniard said Chambers “deserved” his chance to play.
  • He claimed Bellerin is a “month” away from fitness.
  • He also revealed Rob Holding will feature for the U-23 squad on Monday.

And although they were given a stern test in the air against Newcastle striker Joelinton, the duo kept it tight at the back, with Emery saying the Englishman “deserved” his chance after a promising pre-season, while addressing the fitness of several Arsenal defenders, including Bellerin and David Luiz.

“Last year for Calum Chambers was a very good year. He played all the matches with Fulham, he played centre-back in a three and two, as a defensive midfielder,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“In the pre-season, he deserved to play today. He was very focused and with Sokratis as well very seriously. I want to have very competitive players in each position, with David Luiz, with [Rob] Holding when he is coming to help us, training regularly and playing minutes. He is going to play tomorrow for the Under-23s.

“Also, Hector Bellerin is coming back, I think one month more. Today, we had Sead [Kolasinac] out and Kieran Tierney injured. We want to be strong defensively but above all being an offensive team.”

Arsenal host Burnley at the Emirates on Saturday as they seek to make it two out of two for the new season so far.