Rob Holding has been challenged to earn a permanent place at the heart of Unai Emery’s defence by impressing in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash with Brentford on Wednesday.
The Bees travel to the Emirates Stadium looking to cause a third-round upset and with Emery expected to make wholesale changes to his team.
The Spaniard made eight alterations for last week’s Europa League win over Vorskla Poltava before reverting back to his full-strength side for the 2-0 Premier League victory against Everton.
The team that face Brentford are likely to strongly resemble the Europa League second-string – with Holding looking to make his second start of the campaign.
After facing Vorskla, the former England Under-21 international came off the bench as Sokratis Papastathopoulos limped off injured against the Toffees and now Emery is keen to see Holding fight for a regular spot.
“We need every player when chances and opportunities are coming, because we need to also take more players to play,” he said.
“Like on Sunday, for example, after Sokratis’ injury it was important how Rob played and helped the team to find the performance to win against Everton.
“This match against Brentford is also a good opportunity for Rob to continue taking confidence, taking minutes and taking also our ideas of playing with minutes.
“I want to look at him also with our best performance and for him to stay in first XI.”
Beaten finalists last season, Emery will be keen to secure silverware in his debut campaign as head coach of the Gunners having replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer – but conceded he will make changes against Brentford.
“For us, every competition is important and also this is one that we can play and find our way towards this title,” he added.
“Also we can give players chances to play, chances to take confidence and minutes in the game.
“Also for us, the performance in this competition is to improve things and above all to think in one title and one way for the first match against Brentford on Wednesday.
“Every competition there is one important thing – for us it is the opportunity to do well in this competition, looking forward to the title looking to ask the players for this performance.
“One possibility is to give the players who are playing less in one competition to take minutes and these responsibility going forward.”
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