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Wenger backs Holding ahead of Liverpool match

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed youngster Rob Holding ahead of Arsenal’s game against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Gunners have been riddled with injuries, and with both Per Mertesacker and Gabriel out, along with Laurent Koscielny being rested after playing in the Euros, Wenger is expected to start the very young duo of Holding (20) and Calum Chambers (21) at centre back.

“I have a few options at the back that you have seen in pre-season,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “It’s basically the players we have available, that are quite young. But they want to do well.

“Rob [Holding] has played in the Championship. That’s a good experience for a centre-back, to deal with one level higher.”

Wenger also gave an update on Mertesacker and Gabriel, and he’s hoping that Gabriel will be back sooner than initially expected.

“Mertesacker is out for I believe four month,” Wenger said. “Gabriel is six to eight weeks. It’s a bit better than expected because he doesn’t need surgery.

“He’s ruptured his ankle ligaments and we thought it could be four months but it’s not that long.”

Arsenal have been heavily linked with Shkodran Mustafi of Valencia, but the Frenchman didn’t give any comments on that rumor.

“We have to deal with the game on Sunday with the squad we have available,” Wenger said. “We lost basically three centre-backs – Mertesacker, Gabriel and Koscielny, who are not ready and are out of the game.

“I believe we are equipped to do well. We are confident we can do well. Transfer-wise, as soon as we do something, we will inform you.”

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