Unai Emery has explained his decision to not play Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney or Hector Bellerin during Arsenal's 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday.
The trio have recently returned from long-term injuries, meaning that Holding and Tierney were only on the bench, whilst Bellerin failed to make the squad altogether.
Speaking after the match, Emery confirmed that Holding and Tierney are nearly ready to make their returns in the league having recently played in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League, but remained cautious with regards to Bellerin, stating that the Spanish full back needs more time to get back up to speed.
He was quoted by The Express as saying: "Kieran [Tierney] and Rob [Holding] are closer to playing. I think Rob Holding can play 90 minutes with a good performance. Now we are also working with David Luiz and Sokratis, but really, I am very happy. He is going to have a chance to play a lot of matches.
"Kieran Tierney is closer to us, he played on Thursday and today he was on the bench if we needed him. Hector Bellerin needs a little more time, more matches and more training. This international break is going to be important for him. I think he will be closer to starting for us in the next matches in the Premier League."
Arsenal's victory came courtesy of David Luiz's first goal for the club, lifting the team to third in the Premier League. They face a trip to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United after the international break, where their defensive trio could well feature.