Hector Bellerin is set to make his first senior start for Arsenal since his ACL injury against Standard Liege on Thursday night, according to reports.
James Benge wrote on Twitter ahead of the Manchester United match that whilst the right-back wouldn’t be featuring for Arsenal in the Premier League clash, he would be back to start against Standard Liege on Thursday night.
Neither of those things should be particularly surprising. Having played 90 minutes for the u23s against Liverpool on Saturday, there was no chance Bellerin was going to start two days later against Manchester United.
The fact that he got through the full 90 in that u23 match, as well as pulling off a nice assist against Liverpool to add to the goal he set up in the Nottingham Forest match, suggests he’s ready for more senior opportunities.
A home game in the Europa League is a perfect opportunity for a spot in the starting lineup. Having won away in Frankfurt, the pressure is off Arsenal somewhat in the group stage.
There’s plenty of time to turn things around if they slip up against Liege, so they can afford to play Bellerin knowing they might have to withdraw him early if he’s having any trouble.
The fact it’s a home game also helps, as it removes the consideration of matchday fatigue after travelling to a foreign country.
On the other side of things, if Bellerin performs well and Arsenal get the win, he’ll be more than ready for a Premier League return after the international break.