Arsenal provide Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney injury updates ahead of Watford clash

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Arsenal are hopeful of having first choice full-backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney back in full training by the end of the month.

Spain international Bellerin has been out since January after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury against Chelsea and has undergone nine month of painstaking rehabilitation.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has largely deputised for the 24-year-old but Arsenal have missed Bellerin’s attacking flair and defensive aptitude.

Tierney, meanwhile, joined Arsenal from Celtic in the summer in a £25million deal that was completed on the penultimate day of the summer transfer window.

The Scotland international hasn’t played a competitive match since May and underwent a double hernia operation during the summer and has also been troubled by a knee injury.

Sunday’s Premier League match against Watford will come too soon for the defenders to make their comebacks in, but Rob Holding could be in contention.

Like Bellerin, Holding suffered a serious knee injury last season but he has recently played in several Under-23 matches and has returned to full training. Arsenal have taken seven points from their opening four matches of the season ahead of their visit to Vicarage Road.

Asked to assess his side’s start to the new campaign, Unai Emery said earlier this week: ‘I think we’re positive because we changed some players [but have played well].

‘We’ve lost some important players, for example Nacho Monreal and Koscielny, and in the last moment Mkhitaryan and Iwobi.

‘We are getting young players and giving them chances to do one step more with us, getting that performance in the way we demand. I think with the young players and also the experienced players we have, plus we’ve signed some new players, I think we are building a very important squad with different characteristics from the players. We’re also being very demanding in our objectives. ‘Every player is very important for me. The new players, the young players, the players who have been with us for a lot of time. Really, we need a good mix of everybody and take care to create a new ambition, a new motivation, and also create our way with them.’

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