What's the story?
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that the defensive trio of Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney could make their debut first team starts this season when the Gunners host Nottingham Forest in the League Cup tonight.
In case you didn't know...
The Gunners have been wanting of defensive depth as the summer departures of Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal have left the squad in a bit of a crisis.
Bellerin, who has served as a regular right-back under Emery, has been sidelined for months after rupturing the cruciate ligament in his left knee during Arsenal's 2-0 home win over Chelsea in January. Holding also suffered a similar injury back in December and is yet to start for the first team this term.
Meanwhile, £25 million signing Tierney has been out with a groin problem since his summer move from Celtic and underwent a double hernia operation back in May. The Scottish left-back, together with Bellerin, played for the Arsenal Under-23 team on Friday but is yet to make his first team debut for the north London giants.
The deadline day signing of David Luiz has done little to strengthen Arsenal's fragile defence as the Brazilian has already conceded two penalties so far this season.
The heart of the matter
Emery revealed in his pre-match press conference on Monday that Bellerin and Tierney could feature for the Gunners' senior team for the first time this season in the League Cup.
"We are going to decide tomorrow but the first idea is if we can, they will have minutes on Tuesday. This is the first idea, but it depends on tomorrow for their feelings and the decision for the first XI because we played today and we are going to play on Tuesday.
"It's not normal [to play again within] two days and we need fresh players and we need different players."
The former Sevilla boss further confirmed Holding's start in the clash saying,
"Holding, for example, he will play on Tuesday and we are going to decide tomorrow with Hector and with Tierney [if] we will want to use them. I don't know if that's starting in the first XI or after from the bench, or if they are feeling well."
The return of Arsenal's injured defenders has been anticipated among fans but it remains to be seen if Emery will start all three players.Published 24 Sep 2019, 16:34 IST