According to The Athletic, David Luiz could spend quite some time on the sidelines due to a neck problem, and the situation has affected the proposed loan move of Rob Holding to Newcastle United.
Luiz initially injured his neck in the Community Shield triumph over Premier League champions Liverpool and aggravated it further in training. He is now unable to take full part in the sessions and very likely to be left out of the squad for the opening league game of the season away to Fulham on Saturday. The injury is said to require special caution and at the moment it’s not possible to be precise in determining the length of his absence, but it could last six weeks.
The situation has posed a big problem for head coach Mikel Arteta. Fellow defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are all recovering from their own injuries and won’t be available for selection just yet. Of the two newcomers, William Saliba still has some integrating to do and Gabriel Magalhaes hasn’t played a competitive game since early March. It stands to reason to assume that Arteta had been relying on Luiz’s availability rather heavily in the early parts of the upcoming season, especially given that the Brazilian has played a big part for the Gunners throughout Arteta’s reign so far.
Holding was expected to make his season-long move to St James Park after the Community Shield in which he produced an excellent display, but the club have apparently delayed that decision and could now cancel it completely. In the absence of Luiz, Holding is almost certain to start at Craven Cottage on Saturday. No final deal has been agreed with Newcastle, who were reported to lead the race to sign the 24-year-old on a temporary basis, and now it could be that there won’t be one at all.