Guendouzi's red card adds to Gunners' selection headache, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Guendouzi's red card adds to Gunners' selection headache

Arsenal manager Unai Emery faces a selection crunch for his side's blockbuster clash with Liverpool in the English Premier League on Sunday morning (Singapore time).

Teenage midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has joined a growing list of absentees, following his dismissal in their 2-1 win over Blackpool in the League Cup round of 16 yesterday morning.

The Gunners already had to cope with several casualties in recent weeks.

Right-back Hector Bellerin missed the Blackpool match due to a thigh problem and will need to be assessed.

The Gunners also have an issue at left-back, with Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac both out through hamstring injuries.

Granit Xhaka has filled in for them in recent EPL matches, but could be more urgently required in midfield, now that Guendouzi will miss the visit of Juergen Klopp's men.

Guendouzi put in a commanding display against Blackpool, setting up Stephan Lichtsteiner's opener in the 33rd minute.

Another teenage midfielder, Emile Smith-Rowe, made it 2-0 five minutes after the break, before Guendouzi received a second booking in the 56th minute for a tug on Jordan Thompson.

Blackpool pulled one back through Paudie O'Connor in the 66th minute, but the Gunners managed to hang on to victory.

Emery believes that despite being sent off, the 19-year-old Frenchman did not lose control.

Said Emery: "He is playing well and he is playing with one very important thing: good spirit. He is competitive.

"The action is one action. He plays this action, normally, he is pushing behind the player and the second yellow card…

"I don't know if it is experience, but he is playing with the spirit like I want today and in every match.

"We spoke in the dressing room at half-time. I said it is very important to keep control, but I don't think that he really lost control in this action.

"He played how the action demanded and the red card is one circumstance in the game."

Meanwhile, Sky Sports reported that Aaron Ramsey will not be offered a new contract and can leave on a free transfer at the end of the season, although the Gunners could be tempted to cash in on him during the January transfer window.

Ramsey was told in person why his contract will not be extended. The 27-year-old Welsh midfielder had initially thought a new deal was pending, only for it to be withdrawn by the club hierarchy.

He would have no lack of suitors though, with Italian publication Calciomercato reporting that Juventus and AC Milan have already made him a target.