Arsene Wenger forced to place faith in rookie Arsenal duo as he confirms stalwart will miss Liverpool game

Arsenal will be without Laurent Koscielny against Liverpool on Sunday after Arsene Wenger refused to rush him back into action.

The Gunners are in a difficult spot this weekend as both Gabriel and Per Mertesacker picked up long-term injury problems in pre-season.

In turn, that leaves Wenger with young duo Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as his most likely centre-half pairing against Jurgen Klopp’s side, and that has naturally led to concern about their chances in the game.

Despite the temptation to call Koscielny back into action immediately, Wenger has refused to do so after the French international returned to training just this week after being afforded additional time off following his involvement at Euro 2016 earlier this summer.

“We lost basically three centre-backs because we have Mertesacker, Gabriel and Koscielny, who is not ready, who are out of the game,” Wenger said on Friday at his news conference.

“I have a few options that you have seen in preseason. That is basically the players we have available at the moment, who are quite young but have a great desire to do well.”

Krystian Bielik, 18, is also said to be in contention, but given Chambers and Holding have played together  this summer, it’s more likely that they’ll get the nod from Wenger on Sunday despite the fact that Chambers is the only one of the trio to have Premier League minutes to his name.

Arsenal are in talks to sign Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi ahead of the deadline later this month, but that move will not be completed in time for the German international to play a part against Liverpool, as noted by ESPN FC.

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