Arsenal have received a huge injury boost with Rob Holding expected to feature in the EFL Trophy clash against Northampton Town on Tuesday.
The central defender is continuing his recovery from the long-term cruciate ligament injury he suffered against Manchester United in December.
Holding played the full 90 minutes for Arsenal’s U23s in their 2-2 draw with Everton last Friday, and is set to step up his bid for full fitness with an appearance for the U21 side at Northampton.
If the 23-year-old comes through unscathed, he is expected to be available after the international break for the trip to Watford on September 15.
Holding joined the Gunners from Bolton Wanderers in 2016 and has made 60 appearances for the Premier League club.
With the departure of Laurent Koscielny this summer and Arsenal looking to sell Shkodran Mustafi before the European transfer window closes on September 2, Holding’s return is timely for Unai Emery.
The central defender featured prominently under the Spaniard last season before his season-ending injury, and will challenge Sokratis and David Luiz for a starting spot in the Gunners’ back-line.
Speaking during Arsenal’s pre-season summer tour, Emery was full of praise for Holding and revealed he was a contender to become one of the club’s five captains.