Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has an injury crisis on his hands but it appears as though he isn’t scared to give summer signing Rob Holding an immediate debut.
The French tactician has lost both Per Mertesacker and Gabriel in pre-season due to injuries, while Laurent Koscielny will miss the start of the new Premier League campaign after being given an extended period off after his involvement at Euro 2016.
That leaves the Gunners with just Calum Chambers and Holding as their centre-half options, with Liverpool visiting the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Despite the problematic build-up and the quality of the opposition, it sounds as though Wenger isn’t daunted by the possibility of giving Holding an immediate debut after his arrival from Bolton Wanderers earlier this summer.
“He’s done extremely well,” Wenger told talkSPORT.
“That’s part of the game as well, you want the spectacular players to come to the Premier League, but that means young players lose that opportunity to get a chance. Arsenal are one of the clubs who still have the guts to do that.
“I know it’s more glamorous to sign a £60m player than to give a chance to a young player, but in my job you have to look and focus on the quality of the player, and not just the numbers.”
Wenger should be commended for showing faith in the 20-year-old and believing that he is capable of immediately settling and making his impact despite the fact that he fails to boast any Premier League experience at all.
However, it will likely serve as further frustration for certain Arsenal supporters who are wondering why he hasn’t moved quickly to address the situation in the last week or so.
Arsenal have been linked with various names this summer as they also require more firepower up front, and with Granit Xhaka their only marquee signing thus far, the pressure will still be on Wenger to act before the deadline regardless of whether or not he believes in Holding’s talent amongst others.