Arsenal confirm long-term injury absentee in contention to face Nottingham Forest

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Arsenal have confirmed that Rob Holding is available for selection ahead of Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie against Nottingham Forest at the Emirates.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined since December with a knee injury sustained against Manchester United but has been on the comeback trail in recent weeks.

Holding has featured for the club’s U23s since August and stepped up his recovery with a 90-minute display during a 2-1 victory over Leicester City on September 14.

Unai Emery included him in Arsenal’s travelling squad for the Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt last Thursday but he failed to make the 18-man squad.

However, with Arsenal set to play their second game in just over 48 hours against Forest, Holding could be handed a first senior start in over nine months.

Arsenal’s defensive options have been further boosted by Dinos Mavropanos, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney’s returns to fitness over the past couple of weeks.

All three were involved in Arsenal U23s 2-2 draw against Wolves on Friday with Mavropanos playing the whole game and Bellerin and Tierney each playing just over an hour.

Although Arsenal moved up to fourth in the Premier League by beating Aston Villa 3-2 at the weekend, their defensive vulnerability remains a concern after they conceded two sloppy goals again.

Neither David Luiz nor Sokratis Papastathopolous have started the season in good form, while right-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off during the win against Villa.

 

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