Arsenal could be without a natural left-back to start the Premier League season, with Unai Emery saying Nacho Monreal is doubtful because of a knee problem.
That could leave midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles as Unai Emery’s only option in the left-back position against Manchester City next weekend, although the Spaniard insisted he has “great” confidence in the 20-year-old.
Monreal missed Saturday’s 2-0 win over Lazio in Stockholm, a day after fellow left-back Sead Kolasinac was ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury he sustained against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Monreal returned for preseason training this week following his World Cup break but has yet to train with the rest of the team, Emery said.
“He arrived with no big injuries, but his knee has a little problem,” Emery said. “He’s training every day but not with the [team]. He’s doing the work alone with a physio, and running. We think maybe on Tuesday he can start with the team.”
Emery admitted it will be “difficult” for Monreal to be ready for Man City but said he has no qualms about using Maitland-Niles at left-back, where he played against Lazio.