Unai Emery explains why Arsenal defensive trio missed Bournemouth win – Metro.co.uk

Kieran Tierney warms up during Arsenal's game against Bournemouth
Kieran Tierney was named on the substitutes bench during Arsenal’s win over Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery believes that Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin are all close to featuring in the Premier League after Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Emirates.

Holding and Bellerin have both been long-term absentees after suffering knee injuries last season while Tierney arrived from Celtic in the summer after having a hernia operation.

The trio have all featured in Arsenal’s 5-0 and 4-0 victories over Nottingham Forest and Standard Liege respectively but were not called upon for the visit of Bournemouth.

Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin shake hands during Arsenal's win against Standard Liege
Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin have both recovered from long-term injuries (Picture: Getty)

Emery insisted that Holding and Tierney are fit enough to play in the Premier League after being named on the bench on Sunday but Bellerin needs a little more time to get up to speed.

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‘Kieran and Rob are closer to playing,’ Emery said after David Luiz had won the game for Arsenal. ‘I think Rob Holding can play 90 minutes with a good performance.

‘Now we are also working with David Luiz and Sokratis, but really, I am very happy. He is going to have a chance to play a lot of matches.

‘Kieran Tierney is closer to us, he played on Thursday and today he was on the bench if we needed him. Hector Bellerin needs a little more time, more matches and more training.

‘This international break is going to be important for him. I think he will be closer to starting for us in the next matches in the Premier League.’

Arsenal fans have been desperate to see more of Holding, Tierney and Bellerin in the first-team, particularly after their impressive outings in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

David Luiz gives a thumbs up after scoring for Arsenal against Bournemouth
David Luiz was Arsenal’s match-winner against Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)

As well as helping Arsenal keep two clean sheets in their appearances, both Tierney and Bellerin have provided assists while Holding scored in the win against Nottingham Forest.

Although Arsenal were not at their best during their victory over Bournemouth, Emery will have been delighted to see his side keep only a second league clean sheet this season.

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