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Arteta could unleash £40k-a-week player he’s called ‘exceptional’ for Arsenal tomorrow



Arsenal will hope to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table before the international break.

The Gunners host Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in a 2pm kickoff on Sunday.

Arsenal currently sit five points clear of Manchester City, with both teams having played 27 times in the league.

However, City are in FA Cup action this weekend and won’t play in the league until after the international break.

Victory for Arsenal over the managerless Eagles will further pile the pressure on Pep Guardiola’s side.

Worryingly, the Gunners may find themselves without William Saliba for the encounter.

The Frenchman hurt his back in Thursday’s Europa League penalty shootout loss to Sporting CP.

Saliba is currently a doubt, Mikel Arteta saying he “had some discomfort and could not continue”.

The Daily Mail reports that the 21-year-old will be assessed ahead of the Palace game.

Saliba has started every Premier League game for Arsenal this season, and his absence would be a huge blow.

According to, Rob Holding is the likeliest option to replace Saliba if he can’t play.

With Takehiro Tomiyasu injured, Ben White is likely to remain at right-back.

Jakub Kiwior is left-footed, so it’s unlikely he’ll line up alongside fellow left-footer Gabriel Magalhaes.
‘He’s always there’

Holding deserves credit for how he steps up to the plate whenever the need arises.

He doesn’t kick up a fuss about being a back-up player, instead going about his business professionally.

And when called upon, Holding usually delivers solid performances.

The £40,000-a-week ace is very much a manager’s dream.

Arteta himself called Holding “exceptional” a few months ago.

“Rob in particular has been exceptional because he’s always there,” he said.

“The way he trains when you need him for 15/20 minutes to close a game, he’s always been there and available.”

The Gunners reportedly paid a mere £2million for Holding, and he has repaid that many times over.

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