According to a report from The Telegraph, Arsenal are set to be without David Luiz in their Premier League opener against Fulham on Saturday.
The Brazilian, since signing a new contract, has been an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s squad. Luiz played a huge part in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and in the final against Chelsea to help us win the competition.
He played the full 90 minutes in the Community Sheild against Liverpool as well despite featuring in just one training session before the clash. That seems to have caused a big problem for Luiz who had a neck problem before the game last month.
The report claims that the 33-year-old has aggravated his neck problem and he now faces some time on the sidelines. Luiz is likely to miss the opening game of the season away at Fulham this weekend and he is expected to be out of action for a month.
That is a big blow for the Gunners as Luiz is our most experienced defender. Gabriel Magalhaes would barely have had a week’s training with the squad, while it isn’t a wise move to throw William Saliba in the deep end from the very start.
Arsenal have a lot of problems at the back already
Sokratis Papastathopoulos has one foot out of the door already with a move to Napoli expected to be completed soon. (Gazzetta dello Sport) Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers missed a good chunk of last season and their return isn’t expected until at least the end of this month.
That makes Rob Holding Arsenal’s senior centre-half ahead of the game against Fulham on Saturday. The Englishman is almost a guaranteed starter this weekend but it will be interesting to see who starts alongside him.
Luiz’s absence could tempt the Arsenal boss to revert to a four-man defence. Holding could be paired up with one of Saliba or Gabriel if that is the case, but if Arteta sticks to a 3-4-3, we could see all three of them start against Fulham this weekend.
Kieran Tierney has also featured at centre-half, as has Sead Kolasinac. That leaves Arteta with quite a few options despite all the injuries, but Luiz’s experience and leadership will certainly be a big miss at the back for us as we look to start the new season positively.