Unai Emery is facing up to an Arsenal injury crisis at left-back ahead of next week’s Premier League opener against Manchester City.
The Spaniard could be without both recognised left-backs Nacho Monreal, who is struggling with a knee injury, while Sead Kolasinac is certainly out with a longer term knee injury.
That means the inexperienced and out-of-position Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to start – which will be a daunting prospect given Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez will likely face the 20-year-old.
"Nacho arrived with an injury – not a big one – but his knee has a little problem," Emery said. "For that, he is training every day but not with the team.
"He is working alone and running with the physio. We think he can start training with us on Tuesday for the first training. It was a small injury. It is for that we are trying.
"Ainsley played in this position. If he is ready to play, Nacho is perfect but if not, we can have this chance with Ainsley. My confidence in all players is great."
Aaron Ramsey picked up a calf complaint before the Chelsea friendly and is now in doubt for next weekend’s game having failed to feature in the friendly vs Lazio.
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