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Arsenal set for huge Holding boost ahead of derby against Tottenham

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Arsenal defender Rob Holding

Arsenal defender Rob Holding is expected to feature in the EFL Trophy clash against Northampton Town today as he continues his road to recovery from a long-term injury, reports mirror.co.uk.

Holding, 23, has not featured for the Gunners first-team for nine months after damaging his cruciate ligament against Manchester United in December.

He handed a huge boost to Arsenal manager Unai Emery after playing the full 90 minutes for the U23s in their 2-2 draw with Everton last Friday. And now Holding is set to get a run-out for Arsenal U21s at Northampton, having also featured for the youth side this season when he played 63 minutes in the 3-1 win over Blackburn.

If Holding continues his promising progress, the defender is expected to be available for Emery’s squad after the international break.

He is likely to miss the club’s next Premier League match – against fierce north London rivals Tottenham this weekend – but could return for the trip to Watford on September 15.

Since joining the Gunners from Bolton in 2016, Holding has made 60 appearances for the Premier League club.

His return will be seen as a big boost for Emery after the 23-year-old featured prominently under the Spaniard last year before his season-ending injury.

And Holding’s timely return comes amid reports that Shkodran Mustafi looks set on leaving the north Londoners before the European transfer window slams shut on September 2.

Mustafi remains Arsenal fifth-most expensive player of all time and holds the record for the most money the Gunners have ever invested in a defender. But the German has never won over the majority of Arsenal supporters with performances laced with mistakes and uncertainty.

The late signing of David Luiz from Chelsea now means an exit is likely, especially given he has yet to feature for Arsenal this season and head coach Emery has publicly told Mustafi to seek out a move.


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