Arsenal

Arsenal suspension risk hands Mikel Arteta a selection headache ahead of Man United clash

Albert Sambi Lokonga is still walking the disciplinary tight-rope after Arsenal’s return to Premier League action.

The Gunners, who were unbeaten in 10 games across all competitions going into the November international break, were brought back down to earth with a bump against Liverpool on Saturday evening.

As Mikel Arteta’s side travelled to Anfield with the aim of ending a dismal run of results in this particular fixture having lost the previous five in a row, they returned to London with their unbeaten record no longer intact.

Goals from Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino secured an emphatic 4-0 win for the Reds, and in truth, if not for Aaron Ramsdale it could have been a lot worse for Arsenal.

With that said, there was at least some good news to take away from the Liverpool game.

One being no fresh injury problems as Ramsdale recovered following a collision with Jota and the other being avoiding any yellow cards ahead of the game against Newcastle United next Saturday.

Although, the north London outfit do have Lokonga as the one key player who is walking the suspension tightrope.

As confirmed by the FA at the beginning of the season, any player who accumulates five bookings before the cut-off point of 19 matches will have to serve an automatic one-match ban.

With 12 games of the season gone, Lokonga and the rest of Arteta’s Premier League squad have another seven gameweeks to avoid a suspension.

However, because Lokonga is the only Arsenal player on four yellow cards – the last of which he picked up against Watford – in the Premier League this season, it means he has lost his safety net.

Therefore if he is booked against Newcastle United it will rule him out of the Manchester United clash five days later.

As a result, Arteta has a big decision to make.

Does he start Lokonga against Newcastle, thus running the risk of the Belgium international picking up another yellow card that would rule him out of making the trip to Old Trafford?