Rob Holding has revealed that Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has messaged him in the wake of receiving news that his season is over, having suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in a challenge by the England international.
Holding collapsed midway through the first half of Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday and had to be carried off on a stretcher with his left leg in a brace, with scans revealing the worst on Friday.
The 23-year-old is set to be out of action for up to nine months, ruling him out of the rest of the season and potentially that start of the 2019/20 campaign.
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It comes as a large blow to his hopes of cementing himself in the Arsenal first team, having impressed under Unai Emery this season, and it also adds to their injury problems with captain Laurent Koscielny yet to return from the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in May.
But Holding appears to have taken the news as well as possible, and he revealed that his fellow Mancunian Rashford had messaged him to wish him all the best, with Holding absolving him of any blame by admitting it is “just part of football”.
“Marcus has reached out to me,” Holding wrote in his Instagram story. “We are just (two) Manc lads lucky enough to be against each other at OT (Old Trafford).
“What happens after is just part of football. It’s all love and my aim is to be back ‘better than before’.
Holding posted this image of himself and Rashford on Instagram (Instagram/Rob Holding)
He added of the goodwill messages that he received: “This team is special! I love my guys. Thank you for all the support from players, staff and fans.”
With Holding ruled out of Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield Town to the Emirates, Emery will be forced into a reshuffle that could see him revert to a 4-2-3-1 from Wednesday’s 3-4-2-1, given the shortage of match-fit centre-backs.
Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi are likely to start at the back, flanked by Sead Kolasinac on the left and Hector Bellerin at right-back – unless Emery feels Koscielny is ready to be risked, though that is highly unlikely given that he has not played any first-team football since last season. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are also doubts, with the former forced off at half-time of the United draw and the latter missing the last four games with a back injury.
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