TV pundit Gary Neville has raised doubts over whether the return of Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney will help improve Arsenal’s defence.
All three are now back in full training, although it remains to be seen when manager Unai Emery will select them in his starting eleven. Neville believes it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to reinforce the backline:
“You can argue that Hector Bellerin has got to come back in, Rob Holding’s got to come back, and Kieran Tierney has also got to return so that back four can be strengthened. However, you still fear that back four will still not be quite good enough for where Arsenal want to be.”
It is quite a sweeping judgement by Neville. Considering Holding, in particular, had a very real impact on the club’s defence last campaign before his injury, and Tierney has not been tested in the Premier League, it seems premature to predict how they will perform this season.
Of course, it will take time for all three to get their match sharpness up. Bellerin hasn’t played since January, Tierney hasn’t kicked a ball since May while Holding’s last game was in December last year.
However, all three are arguably upgrades on those currently in the starting line up and fans will be keenly awaiting their introduction to the team.