Arsenal

Arsenal have six immediate Kai Havertz replacements for West Ham clash amid suspension reality

Mikel Arteta will have to consider other options in central midfield against West Ham United as Kai Havertz is suspended after receiving a yellow card in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool Mikel Arteta has named an unchanged Arsenal team for three successive Premier League fixtures. But this sequence is guaranteed to come to an end against West Ham United on Thursday evening.

As confirmed by the FA in their ‘Essential Information for Players’ 2023/24 season guide, any player who accumulates five bookings before the cut-off point of 19 matches will have to serve an automatic one-match ban.
Heading into Saturday’s clash against Liverpool, Kai Havertz was the only Arsenal player in immediate danger of being handed a suspension as he had been walking the disciplinary tightrope ever since the 11th game of the Premier League game – away at Newcastle United at the beginning of last month.
Therefore, the target for the £65million summer signing was to avoid a fifth yellow card until after the West Ham fixture on December 28 as that was always the aforementioned cut-off point. However, having been booked towards the first-half at Anfield, the German is now suspended.
And this upcoming absence is something of a blow given he has been in good goalscoring form of late. Although, with regard to potential replacements, many options are staring Arteta right in the face as it’s a position where depth isn’t exactly an issue for Arsenal.

The Gunners boss could turn to the versatile Leandro Trossard in the advanced midfield position especially as this is a role in which the Belgium international has performed fairly often this season – most recently the 2-1 win over Wolves.
Fit-again Emile Smith Rowe is also an option and fitness permitting perhaps he’s the most likely to get the nod considering he did start as the ‘left 8′ against Sheffield United back in October but a knee injury prevented him from staking a claim to get a regular run in the side.
Alternatively, Declan Rice could be pushed higher up for the visit of his former club thus allowing Jorginho, Mohamed Elneny or Thomas Partey – if he’s fit and available for selection following injury – to operate as the deep-lying midfielder. All things considered, the Gunners are in good hands to cope without Havertz for one game.

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Having said that, Ben White is now the sole Arsenal player in immediate danger of a suspension after picking up his fourth booking of the season against Liverpool and will be ruled out of the London derby away at Fulham on New Year’s Eve is he’s shown a yellow card against the Hammers.

The next players with the most yellow cards across the Gunners’ squad are Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah on three. Meanwhile, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko all have two apiece and Gabriel Magalhaes, Jorginho, Jurrien Timber, William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli and captain Martin Odegaard are all on one yellow card.

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