Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is sweating over the fitness of key defender David Luiz after the Brazilian sustained a neck injury.
According to The Athletic, Luiz’s issue requires particular caution and he could face an extended period of time out on the sidelines.
As a result, Rob Holding is expected to remain at Arsenal rather than join Newcastle on a loan deal.
Luiz is expected to miss Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Fulham on Saturday in the early kick-off at Craven Cottage.
If the Brazilian Luiz, 33, is set for a prolonged absence it would be a major blow for Gunners boss Arteta ahead of his first full season at the Emirates.
Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari are all returning to fitness after their own injury issues while new arrivals William Saliba and Gabriel are untested in the Premier League.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos has been unfancied by Arteta ever since he arrived as manager but the Spaniard might be forced to turn to him in the coming weeks.
Luiz penned a new one-year deal at Arsenal back in June, despite a difficult start to Arteta’s tenure at Arsenal.
Holding, meanwhile, was expected to depart for Newcastle for the duration of the 2020-21 campaign but impressed in Arsenal’s Community Shield triumph over Liverpool.
He is now a frontrunner to start against newly-promoted Fulham, but Arteta faces an anxious wait before choosing his partner in the centre of defence.
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