Arsenal issue injury update ahead of Premier League opener with David Luiz ruled out

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be without several key players for the Premier League opener with Fulham on Saturday – including defender David Luiz.

The Gunners travel to Craven Cottage to face the newly-promoted Cottagers in their 2020/21 curtain-raiser, which is the weekend’s early kick-off.

But the north Londoners will have to make do without Luiz, who is still undergoing treatment on a neck spasm.

Fellow defenders Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis are also out of the encounter, handing Arteta a defensive headache for the season opener.

Attackers Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have also been ruled out with injuries.

The club were, however, handed a boost ahead of the game with the news that Arteta has been promoted from head coach to manager of Arsenal.

It was announced on Thursday night the Spaniard would now be first-team manager as opposed to head coach, while Vinai Venkatesham will take the mantle of chief executive having previously operated as managing director.

Appointed in December to replace Unai Emery, Arteta also took the title of head coach – the role which Arsenal introduced after Arsene Wenger’s near-autonomous 22-year spell as manager came to an end in 2018.

“The last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal’s history – and we’ve been around for 134 years. Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward,” Venkatesham told Arsenal Digital.

“He has lifted the spirits and lifted the energy here at London Colney and with Arsenal fans all across the world. He is doing an absolutely phenomenal job.

“The other thing that’s clear is that right from the day he walked through the door, he was doing much more than being our head coach.

“So we’re going to be changing his job title going forward. He’ll move from head coach to be the first-team manager.

“That’s recognition of what he’s been doing from the day he walked in the door, but also where we see his capabilities.”