Arsenal handed massive blow ahead of Friday’s clash against Manchester United

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Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin will be sidelined for six to nine months after knee ligament injury in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea, according to British media reports.

Bellerin, who was making his first start after returning from a calf injury, went down clutching his knee while challenging for the ball in the second half.

After some first aid treatments on the pitch, the right back was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

The injury to the Spaniard is another blow to manager Unai Emery, who had already lost defender Rob Holding for the rest of the season to a similar knee problem last month.

The Spanish coach said he had players to fill in for Bellerin and was unlikely to dip into the transfer market to sign a replacement.

Emery had previously said he could only take players on loan in the January transfer window.

“We have Ainsley (Maitland-Niles). He can help us by playing like a right back or a right winger. And also, (Stephan) Lichtsteiner is another player.

“I don’t forget (Carl) Jenkinson… he played some matches and if we need (him), he is okay to help us,” Emery said.

Arsenal next host Manchester United in FA Cup fourth round tie on Friday, before returning to Premier League action against Cardiff City at home on Jan. 29.

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