Arsenal have announced that David Luiz will miss their Premier League opener against Fulham on Saturday, with Nigel Winterburn considering the Brazilian to be a big loss.
The Gunners have disclosed that a neck spasm is keeping the experienced centre-half stuck on the sidelines.
A fitness update on the club’s official website – which also rules out Sokratis against the Cottagers – states that Luiz is currently being assessed and undergoing treatment with good response.
He will, however, play no part in a derby date with Fulham, meaning that Mikel Arteta must find suitable cover in his back line for a first competitive outing in 2020-21.
Former Arsenal full-back Winterburn fears Luiz’s absence could hit hard, telling Metro:
“I haven’t seen any of the new players in action, I don’t know whether they’re ready, whether Mikel Arteta thinks they’re going to be ready to come straight in.
“Luiz would’ve been a certainty because in the three I think he’s ideal as the middle centre-half because you want him, as I call it, to be the freedom player who is comfortable on the ball.
“Yes, he makes the odd mistake but also, I think as well he’s proven that when he’s given that type of role, his distribution is very good, he can play out from the back, I think the back three suits him down to the ground.
“So, I actually think that’s potentially going to be a big, big loss for the start of the season.”