Arsenal boss Unai Emery has warned Hector Bellerin he is not ready to start against Manchester United after the defender made his comeback in the Carabao Cup.
The Spaniard has been absent since January with a knee injury, and the Gunners have struggled to cope without him at right-back.
But while the defender’s return roused one of the biggest cheers of the night at the Emirates, Emery has warned Bellerin he must be patient as he targets a route back into the starting line-up.
The Gunners manager said of Bellerin after the game: “He wanted to play 90. He said I’m ready and wanted to play.”
Asked if Bellerin could start against United in next Monday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford, Emery said: “I think no. Maybe in his mind yes. We need to listen to the doctor.
“The first minutes were amazing for him… The most important for him is his attitude. He wants to help us.”
The man who Bellerin was replaced was also making his comeback from injury, with Tierney making his first appearance since signing from Celtic on transfer deadline day after a groin injury kept him out.
Rob Holding also started, the centre-half heading home Arsenal’s second goal as he tasted his first action since suffering a knee injury last December.
Tierney was excellent at getting forward and offered plenty for an Arsenal side who spent most of the evening on the front foot against their Championship opponents.
Arsenal fans will no doubt be hoping Tierney can keep his place in the starting line-up for Monday’s clash with United. And with Holding back and Bellerin looking like he’s on his way, things could be looking up for Arsenal’s much-maligned defence.