Smith Rowe and Jorginho in line for Arsenal chance as West Ham boosted by Havertz absence

Kai Havertz will miss Arsenal’s clash with West Ham through suspension and Mikel Arteta has three options to replace him in the team.
As Arsenal held on at Anfield, a battle between Kai Havertz and Liverpool midfielder Wataru Endo ended in the German international bringing down his opponent. The referee brandished a yellow card and in the chaos of the game, it might not have been immediately obvious the bigger picture of this moment.

This was Havertz’s fifth yellow card of the season and therefore means he will miss the Gunners’ next game. West Ham United are the visitors to the Emirates Stadium on Thursday in the first post-Christmas clash as Arsenal will be responding to their title rivals who play earlier.
Miikel Arteta needs to be cautious in who he chooses to replace the midfielder who had established himself in the team after a rocky start. With that said, takes a look at the three options who could replace Havertz in the team.

The first choice is to bring in the Italian who returned from a minor injury to rejoin the squad at Anfield. The Italian has provided midfield depth in the absence of Thomas Partey and could push Declan Rice into the role occupied by Havertz.
It would be the reserved choice of the three for Arteta and perhaps with the form of West Ham the least risky. That said, Arsenal could lose more going forward than they previously had with Havertz with more pressure on the front three and Martin Odegaard.

Emile Smith Rowe

Speaking of a riskier option, Arteta could give a chance to Emile Smith Rowe to showcase why he deserves to re-enter the fray. The England international has missed the majority of the last two seasons with multiple injuries which has undermined his ability to play on a regular basis.

Smith Rowe would be a far more direct option to Havertz and instead of offering the metronomic passing of Havertz, instead pick up the ball and drive at the opposition players. Defensively though Smith Rowe is not as astute and Rice would have a bigger role to play in that regard.

Leandro Trossard

Arteta tried Leandro Trossard in the midfield positions earlier in the season too with mixed results. The Belgian certainly has the potential to play inside to a greater degree, however again the defensive understanding of the selection would add more to Rice’s plate.
However, West Ham could be a great option to have the dynamic former Brighton player involved to bypass several of the Hammers’ bulkier midfielders. The selection of all three does highlight the depth Arsenal now have though in the midfield.

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