Mikel Arteta faces brutal Arsenal decision vs West Ham

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta is set to be without Kai Havertz when Arsenal face West Ham after Christmas, but there is another player that needs to be taken out of the starting XI.

Liverpool exposed a clear weakness in Arsenal’s starting XI at Anfield on Saturday evening. Despite the Gunners taking a crucial point from their trip to Merseyside to remain at the top of the Premier League table over Christmas,

Mikel Arteta must now make a brutal decision ahead of their clash against West Ham.

Oleksandr Zinchenko was the weak link in defence. The Ukraine international struggled to contain Mohamed Salah throughout the game

And he may face yet another difficult test up against Hammers’ star Mohammed Kudus next week.

Arsenal not happy with referee’s decision

Gary Neville highlighted Zinchenko’s problems at Anfield after labelling the Arsenal defender as a ‘liability’ after his performance against Liverpool. After allowing Salah to cut in on his favoured left foot and fire past David Raya to equalise in the first half,

Neville tore into the full-back once again as Zinchenko lost possession on the edge of his box in the second half.

The former Manchester United defender said: “They have options on the bench,

You need to just hook Zinchenko, you have to look to the bench now, he’s a liability.

He loses the ball again against a player like Salah who is world class, what is he doing trying to play in his own half against Liverpool in this type of atmosphere, in this type of game?”

When under pressure with Liverpool on top, Zinchenko struggled, but when in possession the 27-year-old completed 85 per cent of his passes in the final third – the highest percentage of any Arsenal player.

The Ukraine defender’s issues were not with his passing,

But more his composure on the ball and his ability to contain Salah throughout the game.

At present, Arteta’s clear option to replace Zinchenko would be Jakub Kiwior. The Polish defender is capable of playing at left-back

And could be given the chance when the Gunners take on West Ham on Thursday, December 28.

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