Arsenal

Gabriel Jesus’ incredible 166-game run hands Mikel Arteta easy Arsenal line-up call vs Tottenham

Arsenal news: Gabriel Jesus suspension risk may have left Gunners manager Mikel Arteta with a team selection headache for the North London Derby against Tottenham

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus is walking the disciplinary tight-rope in the Premier League, but his overall record in English football points towards him avoiding a suspension.

As confirmed by the FA in their ‘Information for Players on Disciplinary Procedures’ 2022-23 season guide at the beginning of the campaign, any player who accumulates five bookings before the cut-off point of 19 matches will have to serve an automatic one-match ban.

Currently, Gabriel Jesus is the only Arsenal player in any real danger of suffering this fate as he has already received four yellow cards in the Premier League this season – the last of which he picked up in the closing stages of the 3-0 win at Brentford – which means he has little room for error in the coming weeks.

In fact, the £45million summer signing from Manchester City has effectively created a team selection dilemma for Mikel Arteta ahead of this weekend’s North London Derby. If he’s booked against Tottenham Hotspur he will miss the visit of Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium eight days later.

But should the Spaniard and Gunners supporters be concerned about Jesus’ lack of discipline potentially being costly? Well, on one hand, yes. The highest number of yellow cards the Brazilian has received in a single Premier League season is six – 19 overall – and that was during the 2017/18 campaign.

So the fact it has taken seven games to move to within two of his record is something of a concern and it’s a worry considering he was booked a total of three times in the Premier League during his final two seasons with Man City.

However, what should offer Arteta some assurances over his team selection against Spurs is that Jesus has been in this situation before. During the aforementioned 17/18 campaign, the Brazilian had accumulated four yellow cards with four games to spare before the cut-off point of 19 matches.

And thanks in part to Pep Guardiola’s careful approach by leaving Jesus on the bench for a couple of games, the striker was able to avoid an automatic one-match ban. Furthermore, the 25-year-old has never served a Premier League suspension – a run that began with his debut against Spurs 166 appearances ago.

Four of his six suspensions occurred before arriving in the Premier League, whilst he did serve a one-match ban for Man City last season but that was in the Champions League as three yellow cards saw him miss the quarter-final second leg meeting with Atletico Madrid.

With seven games of the Premier League season gone, the Brazilian and the rest of Arteta’s squad have another 12 gameweeks to avoid a suspension. But with the campaign pausing in November for the winter World Cup in addition to Everton and Man City fixtures needing to be rearranged, it won’t be until early next year when the Gunners reach the aforementioned cut-off point.

The next Arsenal players with the most yellow cards across the squad are William Saliba and Ben White on two. Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Granit Xhaka and captain Martin Odegaard are all on one yellow card, so should be able to relax after the international break.

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