Bellerin and Luiz sidelined for Palace trip

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Hector Bellerin and David Luiz will miss tonight’s clash with Crystal Palace and Granit Xhaka is a doubt.

Arsenal’s medical team report that Bellerin bruised the bone in his lower left leg in last week’s win over Chelsea. The right-back came on for Bukayo Saka just past the hour mark but had to be subbed himself in the closing stages.

David Luiz’s chances of making one final appearance for the Gunners appear to be hanging by a thread. The Brazilian is trying to work his way back from a hamstring injury but the clock is ticking.

In better news, Granit Xhaka is making progress in his recovery from a groin problem. The Swiss midfielder was spotted in first team training yesterday but is unlikely to be risked tonight.

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Francesc

For all the talk of Bellerin leaving and that he has plateaued, he is still a good player and also a great ambassador for the club. Would not be a bad decision to keep him (unless of course someone is paying crazy money for him)

Jamesinho

Totally agree. He’s our best RB so unless we can significantly improve on him, or make a tangible difference to another area of the team with a large fee for him, it doesn’t feel like the area that needs the most attention right now

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Terrifying to think he is our best RB though, especially considering how effective his counterpart at LB is.

The Beast

Though I don’t agree that he’s been our best RB this season (I think both Cedric & Chambers have been better at times), I’d agree that there’s no reason to get rid unless we get a more than decent price.

I’d hate to lose him to another club for a bargain just for him to get over his injury issues and hit his stride somewhere else. Also, he’s been with us for ages and acts as though he cares for the club & supporters, which is pretty important when trying to maintain a good atmosphere.

Jakeus

you’re right – but to be fair, saying he’s our best RB is kinda like saying Arteta is our best head coach…. slim pickins

Canadagoon

Tbh I don’t see him at a significantly higher level than Cedric or Chambers. Bellerin looks great on the counterattack but in possession he doesn’t seem secure on the ball and isn’t as good in the air as Chambers. I wouldn’t mind taking money for him that could be reinvested in our midfield.

Left Testicle

Ambassadors don’t win games.

Badaab

Agreed, but arteta seems determined to sideline bellerin even when he’s fit.

Baichung Bhutia

Dont agree with keeping him next season. Whenever Cedric played at RB, I thought he was better than Bellerin. You only have to compare him with Tierney to see the difference.
That being said, we seem to be going for Ryan Bertrand. So its entirely possible we sell Bellerin and sign Marcos Alonso from Chelsea for a 5 year deal.

Daveo

I totally agree. I don’t understand what happened to Cedric. At right back he was brilliant last season and definitely outplayed Bellerin – who was solid, but nothing more. At LB Cedric struggled (out of position) and Arteta seems to have dumped him because he played him out of position. I love hector as a person and he’s a solid player, but he’s absolutely plateaued. He was at this level (maybe even better) when he burst onto the first XI. The knee injuries really knocked him around. There is big interest in him, he’ll command a fee, so we should… Read more »

atom

Supposedly we agreed to let him leave this summer if he agreed to stick out this year with Arteta. Think this really is a perfect time for both parties to part ways. If the interest from Barcelona & PSG is real he will get to go to a much bigger club and a league that’s not nearly as physical. We’ll get to recoup a decent fee and sign a player that might be a better fit for the PL for where we’re at.

El Mintero

You are spot on about Cedric. Whenever he played RB he looked good, easily best RB for us this season. We got him for peanuts from Southampton and imo was great value. Yet Blogs on the podcast has him as a disaster that needs to be sold as he’s “4th choice” RB…that’s a fkn head scratcher for me. Yeah sure, he’s not a LB and was not a viable back up for tierney but he was a no brainer starting at RB for us and I would have no problem if he was back in there start of next season.

Mpls

Damn. Knocked out twice by Alonso. That’ll leave a mark on the psyche..🤕

Andy

Why is Luiz even in contention? He’s gone on Sunday evening.

Qwaliteee

Yeah, well said.

There’s far bigger fish to fry (Numpties to get rid of).

The usual suspects in no particular order – Willian, Luiz, Xhaka, Ceballos and Cedric. A quintet of crap if ever there was one.

Fatgooner

I love these totally meaningless end-of-season games. We’ll probably win 5-0 seeing as there’s nothing to play for.

We’re currently 10th in the Premier League and yet the manager’s under no pressure. Just shows how far we’ve fallen.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

There’s St. Totteringham’s Day and a place in Europe still to play for.

Mootilated

why would you want to qualify for Europe? It would be a good thing to miss out, thin the squad from all the rubbish and start fresh next season with a smaller squad and better players.

RistoJ

>>We’re currently 10th in the Premier League and yet the manager’s under no pressure. Just shows how far we’ve fallen.<<
That's very good observation. It's all about managing expectations.

The Beast

Tbh, I’d happily watch us win 5-0 in an early preseason match against Barnet let alone a league match but I get your point.

You are aware though that you don’t have to watch a match you think is meaningless?

Eddy F

Team for tonight I reckon:

Leno
Chambers Holding Mari Tierney
Partey Elneny
Saka Odegaard ESR
Aubameyang

Although I’d much prefer to see Martinelli given an run out over Odegaard.

Supamac

Much rather Martinelli over Aubameyang

Daveo

Given how meaningless this game is, I’d prefer to just give Martinelli a run-out again at striker.

Maybe even a front for of:
Saka-ESR-Pepe
Martinelli

Why not? Perfect chance to try something a bit different.

Johan

Given his performance as a striker in the last match, I’d rather see him given a chance on the left wing.
I know Saka came off early last match and it’s been a full week, but even so this seems like a chance to rest him. Have him fit for the home game in front of fans on Sunday. I’d go with Martinelli-ESR-Odegaard.

Daveo

One game man!? Seriously? You want him to develop as a striker (I do), it’s going to take time and chances – no better chance than right now!

Johan

I want him to integrate into the first 11 and make as much of a positive contribution to our play as possible, and think that’s much more likely to happen on the left wing. Going into next season, I assume Auba is going to start as a 9 most weeks, and I hope Balogun will be given opportunities there too. The left wing spot is up for grabs: Saka, Pepe and ESR can all play there, but they are arguably better on the right wing or as a 10. The most obvious spot to integrate Martinelli into the starting eleven… Read more »

David Hilliers Arm Cast

At the number ten position? Or switch ESR to ten and him on the wing?

Rich

Bellerin was on the slide before his injury, hopefully we’re not stuck with him, he’s not a bad player, but unfortunately never delivered on is early promise, and has regressed A few years back he was easily a £50 million player, and I’d have been gutted to lose him, now I think we’d be lucky to get £20 million There’s a lot of work to do at full back this summer, ideally we get shot of Bellerin, Soares, Niles, Kolasinac Then sign genuine competition for Tierney, and a quality first choice right back to compete with Chambers, Chambers can also… Read more »

The Beast

Given that surely LB cover & midfield are priorities this summer, I doubt we’ll see much change at RB.

I think both Cedric & Chambers did a decent job when called on and I hope Bellerin can get over a stop/start last couple of seasons mostly due to injury.

Rich

Numerically we don’t need Bellerin, Soares, Chambers, Niles

Thats 4 players for 1 position, with the potential of no European football

The Beast

Agreed but I think but I think Chambers & Bellerin may be the 2 that’ll stay.
Chambers because of his versatility & Bellerin because I think he still has more potential to improve compared with Cedric.
Sadly, I think AMN is gone if he doesn’t get a chance in midfield.
Obvs, the exact opposite could happen & I wont be surprised

onenil

Normally I want to win every match regardless, but if there is any danger of finishing in the Uefa Conference League I would be happy to bring on David Luiz in the 87th minute to complete a perfect hat trick of own goals and ensure someone else can spend their Thursdays in the villages of Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands or Estonia.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I disagree but seems I’m in the minority. Those Thursdays in the villages of Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands or Estonia would be ideal for the fringe players and the likes of Balogun, Azeez, Saliba.

onenil

… until a farm hand breaks the leg of one of our rising stars.

Tapps

If it’s because of a risk of injury to our young players, is your suggestion that we never play them? It’s certainly save them from injury!

onenil

Either loan them to a championship side/equivalent abroad, at least they will learn in a decent league, or integrate them into the main (stripped down) squad as should happen with the 3 talents mentioned above.
A 2,000 mile round trip to play a sub U23’s side is a waste of time and presumably requires Arteta to keep flying off, rather than focusing on getting us back to the CL.

Torterrier

*shrugs*