Arsenal have confirmed defender Rob Holding will be out for six to nine months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Holding was carried off on a stretcher in the first half of the 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old will undergo surgery in the coming days, with the six-to-nine-month rehabilitation process meaning he could miss the start of next season.
Holding said on Twitter: “Just want to say a big thank you to all the fans, players and staff members for the support during the past couple of days. Gutted to get injured during a strong period for the team!”
The devastating blow comes after Holding forced his way into Unai Emery’s first-team plans following an injury to Sokratis.
Holding replaced Sokratis in the 2-0 win over Everton on September 23 and went on to start the next nine Premier League matches, including the draw at United.
Stephan Lichtsteiner came on for Holding on Wednesday, and the Swiss 34-year-old is in line to make just his second league start of the season when Arsenal host Huddersfield today.
Club captain Laurent Koscielny is nearing a return from an Achilles injury that saw him miss the World Cup, but Emery confirmed the Frenchman is more likely to feature in next Thursday’s Europa League tie against Qarabag.