Report: Arteta could release £40k a week player he calls ‘exceptional’ for Arsenal tomorrow –

Arsenal will be hoping to have an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table before the international break.

The Gunners host Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday at 2pm

Arsenal are currently five points clear of Manchester City, and both teams have 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.

Arsenal’s win over the managerless Eagles will further increase the pressure on Pep Guardiola’s side.

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

The Frenchman injured his back on Thursday in the Europa League penalty shootout loss to Sporting CP.

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

He daily mail reports that the 21-year-old will be assessed before the match against Palace.

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

According football.londonRob Holding is the most likely option to replace Saliba if he can’t play.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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

Jakub Kiwior is left-footed, so it is unlikely that he will line up alongside fellow left-hander Gabriel Magalhaes.

‘He is always there’

Holding deserves credit for stepping up whenever the need arises.

He doesn’t make a fuss about being a backup player, but goes 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,” she said.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

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

The Gunners reportedly paid a mere £2 million by Holding, and has paid for it many times over.

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