The young Arsenal striker got red-carded four minutes after coming on in the home draw against Leicester City and Arsenal appealed the obligatory three-match ban he got for violent conduct. The referee had given a yellow card at the first instance but changed his mind after reviewing the incident on the monitor stationed pitch-side. While the incident looked bad Arsenal were hoping given a similar incident in the West Ham game which occurred 24 hours later only received a yellow card, that the FA would consider rescinding.
Nketiah will be missing the league games with Sp*rs and Liverpool and the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City. Given he seems to be the managers preferred choice for the number 9 role, this will come as a big disappointment for the young player enjoying the run in the team.
“He’s disappointed,” Arteta told his post-game press conference. “He’s said sorry and he doesn’t need to do that.
“I know when he goes for every single ball it’s because he’s so willing to win every challenge, be on the front foot in every action, he didn’t see the player coming up and obviously he doesn’t want to hurt anybody so… It’s part of the process.
“They are really young, they need to learn from these situations and hopefully, it won’t happen again.”
Nketiah’s absence forces the manager to make a decision as to who should start in the middle against Spurs on Sunday. The manager could return top scorer Aubameyang to the middle and play both Pepe and Saka on both sides of the mercurial striker. However, given previous line-ups it many expect Lacazette to remain in the centre with Aubameyang hugging the left-wing.
We wish Arsenal, Nketiah and Arteta the best going forward.