Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s decisions point towards Arsenal wonderkid replacing Kai Havertz against West Ham

Arsenal are back in action tonight (Thursday) as they welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium and Kai Havertz suspension leaves Mikel Arteta with a decision to make

regular feature from Arsenal’s matchday squads over the past month or so has been the inclusion of academy players and this may be the case once again tonight against West Ham United.

With several first-team players unavailable for selection for one reason or another, it has allowed Reuell Walters, Bradley Ibrahim, Charles Sagoe, Myles Lewis-Skelly, Lino Sousa and Ethan Nwaneri to be called up by Mikel Arteta and subsequently named on the substitutes bench.

Whilst none have been afforded a Premier League debut yet, there’s a good chance at least one will earn another call-up for the visit of the Hammers to the Emirates Stadium tonight (Thursday) as the Gunners manager has confirmed he expects to be without as many as five senior players

Kai Havertz misses out as he serves a one-game suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend. Jurrien Timber and Fabio Vieira are long-term injury casualties. Meanwhile, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu have been ruled out having not trained with their Arsenal teammates.

No, nothing has changed yet,” Arteta told reporters in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday when asked if there had been a change concerning the latter pair’s fitness. “We’re not going to have those two available unfortunately yet, and then we have the suspension of Kai.

“So I think it’s five players missing in the squad. So yeah, we are a bit short, but we have been doing well and we still have lots of other players willing to play.”

With Arteta revealing the five senior players who will not be included in the 20-man matchday squad that he is permitted to name for the London derby, this potentially means some of the aforementioned youngsters are in contention to be involved against the Hammers.

In the scenario where there are no fresh injuries for Arsenal before kick-off at the Emirates Stadium then Arteta will have 20 senior players available for selection. However, as it’s rare that two goalkeepers are named on the bench for a Premier League fixture, there’s space for one of the club’s outfield academy starlets.

 

Ultimately as Havertz is suspended, not only does he have to be replaced in the starting XI – perhaps by Leandro Trossard, Jorginho or Emile Smith Rowe – but in the matchday squad too. In fact, his absence is likely to open the door for another midfielder if recent decisions are any indication.

In Arsenal’s last home game, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny were both absent which led to Lewis-Skelly being named on the bench for the 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. Now, the teenager wasn’t spotted in Wednesday’s training session but Nwaneri was present so perhaps he will get the nod this time.

Ultimately as Havertz is suspended, not only does he have to be replaced in the starting XI – perhaps by Leandro Trossard, Jorginho or Emile Smith Rowe – but in the matchday squad too. In fact, his absence is likely to open the door for another midfielder if recent decisions are any indication.

In Arsenal’s last home game, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny were both absent which led to Lewis-Skelly being named on the bench for the 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. Now, the teenager wasn’t spotted in Wednesday’s training session but Nwaneri was present so perhaps he will get the nod this time.

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