Arsenal expect to give minutes to Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin tonight as the returning trio get closer to full fitness and overhauling Arsenal’s shambolic defence.

TELFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal in the changing room after the Premier League 2 match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at New Bucks Head Stadium on September 20, 2019 in Telford, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
TELFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal in the changing room after the Premier League 2 match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at New Bucks Head Stadium on September 20, 2019 in Telford, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

For many, the trio cannot return quickly enough. Throw Dinos Mavropanos into the mix as well, and, rather than being ‘like a new signing’, it’s like a whole new defence returning for Arsenal.

Speaking before Arsenal’s Carabao Cup game against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening, Unai Emery told reporters, “The idea is to give them minutes if we can.

“To play on Sunday and then on Tuesday is not normal and we will need fresh players.”

Emery could also turn to Mesut Ozil who was rested against Frankfurt, supposedly so he could feature against Aston Villa only for him to be benched in that game.

The early rounds of the League Cup are supposed to be a time for youngsters and fringe players so that gives you some idea of how Unai Emery sees Mesut Ozil, something I will never understand.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal reacts as he is substituted during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 14, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal reacts as he is substituted during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 14, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Prior to this game, the German has played just 207 minutes in the League Cup since he arrived at Arsenal in 2013. He has played the full 90 twice – against Chelsea and City in the 2018 semi-final and final. Apart from that, Ozil played 27 minutes against Chelsea back in 2013.

He has played just 71 minutes in all competitions this season in what is criminal underuse by Emery.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.