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Confirmed: Arsenal star ruled out for up to nine months

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Arsenal have now confirmed that Rob Holding is facing up to nine months on the sidelines after rupturing his cruciate knee ligament against Manchester United. 

Holding had been enjoying a fine run in the first team in recent weeks and once again lined-up alongside Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi in the back three against United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

However, the 23-year-old was stretchered off midway through the first half after injuring his knee during a challenge with Marcus Rashford and Unai Emery admitted after the 2-2 draw he feared the injury was serious.

The boss gave little away at his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon when asked for an update on Holding but the Sun reported last night that the defender had damaged his knee ligaments.

Unfortunately the report has proven accurate as Arsenal have now released a statement on the official club website confirming that Holding has ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament and is facing between six and nine months on the sidelines.

The statement on Arsenal.com said:

Further to the injury sustained during our match at Manchester United on Wednesday night, we can confirm that Rob Holding has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.

Rob will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehabilitation process is expected to take between six to nine months.

This is a devastating blow for Holding as he’s improved immensely under Emery this season and was establishing himself in the first team with some excellent performances. Now, he’s facing a long road to recovery to get himself fit for the start of next season.

Luckily for Arsenal, Nacho Monreal is on the verge of making his return to action after resuming full training this week while Laurent Koscielny could also be on the bench against Huddersfield tomorrow so we have a couple of defensive options available again to cover for Holding’s absence.



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Tweets and Photos: Liverpool players celebrate reaching Champions League last-16

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Liverpool are through to the Champions League knockout rounds after a 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield last night. Mo Salah’s first-half goal and…

Click the headline to read the full story.





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Granit Xhaka A Massive Revelation For Arsenal Since Unai Emery’s Arrival At The Emirates

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Arsenal fans have been crying out for a quality holding midfielder for the past decade and their wish had been fulfilled with the arrival of Borussia Mönchengladbach captain, Granit Xhaka in 2016.

Xhaka promised so much, long-range passing, brilliant shooting, and leadership to name a few qualities, however after a short cameo in his first season, he promised very little thereafter.

Lunging into unnecessary challenges, leading to a booking and slow on the ball were the main problems which left Arsenal fans frustrated at times.

However, with Unai Emery coming in this year, Granit Xhaka was made 1 of the 5 captains on his list. He also introduced different strategies and tactics to the Swiss which has been a revelation till now for Arsenal.

3-4-3 : SEVEN Changes Made With Mkhitaryan, Iwobi To Start | Strongest Arsenal Lineup Against Qarabag

Xhaka has shown many positive changes since Unai’s arrival – better passing, commanding the ball well, better defensive record and yes scoring through some wonderful free-kicks.

Lucas Torreira’s arrival has benfited Xhaka’s form more than anything else. Torreira’s defensive capabilities unleash the Swiss’ passing as well as attacking skills. Their partnership in the midfield has been very crucial to the Gunners’ Unbeaten Run.

In my opinion, this has to go down to Emery. He must have instructed the players not to get too comfortable. Players will start as per their performance, not prestige, as we can see with Ozil’s situation.

One can say Xhaka is in his prime years and is only 25 years old which makes the Arsenal’s midfield future proof.

Emery knew the potential of the Swiss International and hence adorned him the captain’s arm-band, hoping to keep discipline while maintaining leadership.

Xhaka hasn’t got a single red card this season, but earned five yellow cards which cannot be overlooked. His passing has been questioned a couple of times, however, in the majority, he has provided some splendid crosses and passes.

Overall, Xhaka has been a more well-rounded box to box midfielder. Also, Rob Holding has improved well from last season. Although unfortunately, Rob suffered a very bad injury (ACL) against Manchester United and will probably won’t feature again for the Gunners this season.

Emery and his tactics have not only worked in Xhaka’s favour but also with other players like Holding, Iwobi. Arsenal fans need to give him more time and after a few more transfer windows, we can think of lifting some serious silverware.

Arsenal now face Qarabag in their final group stage fixture of the Europa League on Thursday.

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Premier League fear Sterling and Aubameyang racism storms are damaging their brand

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Premier League fear racism storms involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling are damaging their global brand

  • A banana was recently thrown towards Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused by a Chelsea fan last weekend
  • The Premier League swiftly condemned the Sterling incident at Stamford Bridge 
  • But it’s understood there are concerns the incidents are having an impact on the way the Premier League is perceived 

Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms that have rocked English football are damaging their global brand.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling have been at the centre of two racism controversies in as many weeks, triggering questions about how tolerant English football is.

The Premier League swiftly released a statement condemning the incident at Stamford Bridge concerning Sterling, who was allegedly racially abused by a Chelsea fan.  

A Tottenham fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month

A Tottenham fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

But while the flashpoint has dominated the news agenda in recent days, the incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s official website.

Sportsmail also understands the body’s own in-house programming have kept reporting of the flashpoint involving Sterling to a minimum, in what appears to be an effort to curtail the impact of the incident.

Their in-house coverage of the north London derby on December 2, which saw a Tottenham fan hurl a banana skin at Arsenal striker Aubameyang, did include a discussion on the incident.

They have also reported on the Sterling incident, but without the level of exposure it has been given by independent broadcasters.

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Indeed, it is understood there are concerns the incidents involving Aubameyang and Sterling are having an impact on the way the Premier League is perceived across the world.  

Top-flight chiefs have successfully shaped the Premier League into one of the most lucrative and multi-cultural divisions in world football.

But there is a realisation the two incidents, that happened in the space of six days, could seriously damage the gleaming image they have worked so hard to nurture.

Despite the two episodes occurring in such close proximity, league bosses are hopeful the incidents are not part of a growing and wider problem of racism in England’s top division.

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Premier League have undertaken some excellent work in trying to eradicate racism from English football.

They have supported and worked closely with anti-racism body Kick it Out to ensure grounds have become more tolerant.

Equally, through various grassroots programmes, the Premier League have sought to educate youngsters about prejudice.

Yet there is an acknowledgement behind the scenes that much more has to be done to ensure the problem does not escalate. 



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