Rob Holding is unavailable for Arsenal’s trip to face Benfica in Athens, but he’ll return in time for Leicester City at the weekend
Rob Holding became Arsenal’s first-ever concussion substitute at the weekend, coming off for David Luiz after a blow to the head. Though the results came back without showing any serious problems for the player, he’s unavailable to face Benfica.
“Regarding Rob, he’s not available,” Mikel Arteta confirmed. “He had a concussion, we tested him and he’s completely fine but obviously now we need to follow the protocols and he won’t be able to travel.”
Mark Mann-Bryans reports that though Holding won’t travel to Athens, he’ll be fine for Sunday’s trip to Leicester City.
Obviously, there are strict rules to follow regarding concussions. Even if Holding appears to be completely fine, Arsenal don’t want to risk his safety or risk getting in trouble with the FA, so they have to leave him out for the required period of time.
It’s not a major problem for the team, as Gabriel Magalhaes and David Luiz should both be available to face Benfica as they did in the first leg. Holding was unlikely to start this match anyway, so the Leicester trip is a good return date.
It just means Arsenal will be relying on alternative options should Luiz need to come off against Benfica. Perhaps Calum Chambers will make his first appearance since December, after Arteta ruled him ready to go in his press conference.