How Arsenal could line-up against Sevilla without Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Martin Odegaard
A headache for Mikel Arteta.
Jesus picked up a hamstring injury in the 2-1 victory over Sevilla a fortnight ago and subsequently missed Premier League matches against Sheffield United and Newcastle United. He was also absent from the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham and it was reported last week that the Brazilian will be ruled out until December.
Fellow forward Nketiah started in his place for those three games – scoring an impressive hat-trick against Sheffield United – but he picked up a knock in the loss to Newcastle and was forced to miss training on Tuesday, leaving Arsenal in a tricky situation over their striking options if he is deemed unfit to play.
Arsenal captain Odegaard is also a doubt as he deals with a hip injury, with the Norwegian missing the clash against Newcastle, among the substitutes against West Ham – playing just 10 minutes – and an unused sub in the win over Sheffield United. That means that the Gunners may have to rethink their midfield too.
With all that in mind, Metro.co.uk takes a look at how Arsenal could line-up without those three stars…
Trossard as the main striker
If Arteta wishes to stick with a similar-look XI to the team he put out at Newcastle last time out, he could simply decide to make one key change and put in Leandro Trossard as the main striker to replace Nketiah.
Trossard is usually deployed as a left winger but can be used as a centre-forward and played in the position during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Fulham in August.
The 28-year-old Belgium international has registered four goals across 12 appearances this term.
But speaking after Arsenal’s defeat at St James’ Park, pundit Gary Neville raised concerns over the fact that Arsenal were ending games with Trossard in attack, urging the north Londoners to sign a new striker in the January transfer window.
Move Havertz back into old position
Another option for Arteta would be to operate Kai Havertz as a striker. That was the German international’s main position at Chelsea but since his summer switch to the Emirates, he has been moulded into more of a central midfield player.
The problem is that Havertz was hardly famous for his goalscoring ability at Chelsea. He managed just 32 goals across 139 appearances in his three-year stint at Stamford Bridge and has only been used as a centre-forward once for Arsenal, which came at the very start of the season in the Community Shield.
Moving Havertz up top means that someone would need to replace him in midfield, an issue for Arsenal considering that Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe are injured.
Arteta could decide to start Fabio Vieira or even Mohamed Elneny there but there are large question marks over the Portuguese star’s form while the Egyptian has only seen nine minutes of action for Arsenal so far this season.
Martinelli as the main centre-forward
A third possibility would see Gabriel Martinelli as the main centre-forward. The left winger has not played up top this season but was used in the position on three occasions last term.
He impressed playing as a centre-forward in a 4-0 home win over Everton in March during the 2022-23 campaign, registering two goals.
Should Arteta decide to move Martinelli into the middle, he would need to find a replacement on the left wing.
That could be Trossard – and the two players could swich between the two roles during a match given that the Belgian can also play as a centre-forward – or Arteta may decide to hand a rare start to Reiss Nelson instead.