Kai Havertz will miss Arsenal’s Premier League fixture against West Ham United on Thursday. The Gunners ensured they head into the Christmas period on top of the standings for a second successive season in row following the 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening.
Despite the point at a difficult ground like Anfield, Mikel Arteta will have to play without summer signing Havertz on Thursday against West Ham after the midfielder received his fifth yellow card of the season which resulted in a game suspension.
Arsenal’s discipline has generally been good, with Ben White being the only other player to miss a game due to accumulated yellow cards. However, red cards for Takehiro Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira has slightly marred their record. Tomiyasu received two yellow cards in the match against Crystal Palace in August, while Vieira was shown a straight red card for a late tackle against Burnley.
Despite several intense games against top teams, Arsenal have mostly kept their composure. Havertz, since joining from Chelsea in the summer, has had a tendency for fouls, and although he’s improved in scoring, his judgment in transition situations seems to have cost Arsenal now.
This yellow card causing his suspension was expected given his accumulation of cards since the November defeat against Newcastle, a match where he narrowly avoided being sent off.
During the Liverpool game, Havertz had a quiet period until he was penalised for pulling Wataru Endo’s shirt, earning him the yellow card that leads to his absence in the clash against West Ham.
Arteta faces a midfield challenge with at least one change guaranteed from the XI against Liverpool. With Thomas Partey still injured, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny returning, and considering attacking options, there’s a significant chance for Leandro Trossard or Emile Smith Rowe to step in.
Mikel Arteta can move Rice to the left-eight position while either of Jorginho or Elneny filling in at the base of midfield.