Arsenal manager Unai Emery feels that right-back Hector Bellerin may not be ready to start in next week’s fixture against Manchester United.
The Spaniard who was sidelined for several months due to an injury he sustained in January, featured for the Gunners in their Carabao Cup match against Nottingham Forest as a substitute for Kieran Tierney. Just moments after coming on, Bellerin assisted Joe Willock’s goal which was Arsenal’s third of the match. The North London club confirmed their place in the fourth round by thrashing Nottingham Forest 5-0 thanks to a brace from Gabriel Martinelli and goals from Rob Holding, Willock and Reiss Nelson.
Following the match, Emery was far from certain when it came to Bellerin’s availability for Monday’s fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford. As quoted by Goal.com, the Arsenal manager said: “He wanted to play 90. He said I’m ready and wanted to play. I think no [he won’t be ready to start against Manchester United]. Maybe in his mind yes. We need to listen to the doctor. The first minutes were amazing for him…The most important for him is his attitude. He wants to help us.”
Bellerin was a key first-team player for Arsenal before getting injured. Hence, Emery might take a cautious approach with him for now. Nevertheless, the Gunners will be a little relieved that some of their injury-hit players are back on the pitch. Last night, we saw Tierney make his Arsenal debut while Rob Holding made his first appearance since December.