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The Five Arsenal Players Emery Must Consider For Old Trafford Trip


The mood amongst Arsenal fans has improved thanks to a Matteo Guendouzi-led comeback at home to Aston Villa and routine dismantling of Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup. The cup game, in particular, gave reason for optimism, with the return of several players from long-term injury, as well as a debut for new signing Kieran Tierney. But did they do enough to cement a place in Unai Emery’s side for the trip to Old Trafford? In this article, I will outline five players who I think must start against the Red Devils.

Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira has found game time hard to come by so far this season. Even when he has been selected, he has often found himself in the role of a box-to-box midfielder, a place where he does not look comfortable. What was made abundantly clear against Nottingham Forest, however, is that his best position remains at the base of the midfield. Whilst he also offers mobility and dynamism that Granit Xhaka simply cannot. The diminutive Uruguayan should be one of the first names on the team sheet for the trip to Manchester, no matter the system played. His energy is simply infectious.

Rob Holding

One of my favourite moments of the year has to be Rob Holding, on his first start since December, wheeling away wearing the captain’s armband after heading in Arsenal’s third goal. It was simply spine-tingling and I was over the moon for the man who has had a tough year. Defensively, he was elegant and did his job without the moments of rashness which have come to symbolise the Arsenal back-line. With Callum Chambers impressing at right-back, the path to the first team at Old Trafford is open to Rob, although it may be one game too soon.

Calum Chambers

Written off by many despite an impressive season in a poor Fulham side, Chambers has come in and gone about proving all of his doubters wrong. Of course, his poor touch was partly to blame for Aston Villa’s second goal, but he then showed the strength of character to score the equaliser, more than atoning for his error. On Tuesday, he found himself at the centre of the action, picking up three assists whilst playing a mixture of right-back and left-back. With Hector Bellerin not ready to return, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles a doubt through injury, Chambers simply must start at right-back against Manchester United. It will be here that he will have his greatest test, and we will find out if he really is Arsenal quality.

Reiss Nelson

When it was revealed that Alexandre Lacazette was injured until October, Arsenal fans were unsure how to feel. On the one hand, it would deprive the squad of a league-leading striker, a huge blow. On the other hand, it would allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to move centrally, where he is best, and allow the likes of Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson to establish themselves. Whilst Saka grabbed the headlines, he seems too raw to be thrown in at the Theatre of Dreams. Nelson, on the other hand, plays with more maturity and certainly has the ability to match. For me, he has to start at Old Trafford.

Kieran Tierney

It’s difficult not to be impressed by this man. In his 77 minutes, he had Arsenal fans comparing him to Ashley Cole and Nigel Winterburn. He looked totally assured going forward. More importantly for fans who have watched Saed Kolasinac for the last year, Tierney showed solidity in the defensive side of his game as well. Arsenal will surely need against Manchester United. The Scot had a fantastic game, and if he continues on this trajectory he could nail down that position for the next decade or so. For the moment, however, Tierney has to start. He is the best option we have.


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