Emery 'not positive' over Bellerin injury amid fears Arsenal defender set for lengthy lay-off

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The Spaniard could have suffered an 'important' knee injury but the Gunners boss says he will not be forced into the transfer market as a result

Aresenal head coach Unai Emery admits he is fearful that Hector Bellerin’s latest injury problem is another serious issue for the Spaniard.

However, the ex-PSG boss says that such a setback will not need to be addressed by any hasty purchases in the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old appeared to twist his left knee during his side’s 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Saturday before falling to the Emirates Stadium turf unchallenged.

The right-back was then forced to depart the field on a stretcher, in what was only his second appearance since a calf strain picked up in December.

Emery will be forced to wait for more concrete information on the seriousness of the issue, but revealed in his post-match press conference that initial prognosis was not looking good.

“We have to wait but, his knee, the first prediction is it can be an important injury," the former Sevilla boss told reporters.

"I hope not, but first impressions are not positive."

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – who had already been brought on for midfielder Aaron Ramsey – was redeployed to Bellerin's position, while Emery also brought in experienced defender Stephan Lichtsteiner during the close season.

As such, he does not feel that the Gunners need to leap into the market to bring in outside cover.

"We have Ainsley, playing with good pieces. He played well [against Chelsea] and can help us," Emery added.

"Also Lichtsteiner is another player who can play there. We have the players. Don't forget [Carl] Jenkinson, who has played some matches and can be used if we need him."

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Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny were the men on target for Arsenal as they kept up their aspirations of a top-four finish by cutting the gap to Chelsea.

The North London club retook fifth place from Manchester United after the Red Devils had previously leapfrogged them earlier on Saturday with victory against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Gunners face Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s side in the FA Cup fourth round up next before tangling with Premier League champions Manchester City the week after, with a home clash against Cardiff City sandwiched in between.