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Rob Holding injury: Arsenal defender out for six to nine months with knee injury

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 08/12/2018 JAMES OLLEY
a person holding a bag of luggage: Holding had become an important member of Emery's defence © Provided by Local News RSS EN-GB Holding had become an important member of Emery's defence

Arsenal have suffered a major injury blow after scans confirmed Rob Holding will be out for up to nine months with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The 23-year-old was stretchered off in the first half of Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford and medical assessments in the last 24 hours have revealed a rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The club said in a statement: “Rob will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehabilitation process is expected to take between six to nine months.

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“Everyone at the club will now be working as hard as we can to ensure Rob is back on the pitch as soon as possible.”

The news is a significant setback for head coach Unai Emery, who had become increasingly reliant on the centre-back regardless of whether he played with a back four or a three-man defence.

Holding has started 15 of the club’s last 17 games in all competitions and was eyeing a possible senior England call-up but a hugely promising season is now over and he must instead begin a lengthy period of recovery with a view to being fit for the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

After joining the club from Bolton in a £2million deal, Holding was made to wait for his opportunities under Arsene Wenger and revealed last month that he was close to leaving the club on loan this summer before speaking with Emery over his chances of first-team football.

Holding’s injury could soon present an opportunity to returning club captain Laurent Koscielny, who has been sidelined since May after undergoing surgery on the Achilles tendon in his right leg.

The 33-year-old has played twice for the club’s Under-23 side and Emery suggested yesterday that Koscielny could be part of the matchday squad for tomorrow’s Premier League home game against Huddersfield Town.

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