Unai Emery has made it clear that he’ll pick the strongest team available to him for today’s Premier League trip to Brighton, and won’t consider the possibility of resting Lucas Torreira who is on a suspension tightrope having picked up four bookings already this season.
Another one today would see him miss Liverpool game at Anfield as five yellow cards means a mandatory one game ban.
However, the boss is prioritising three points against the Seagulls today, and having Torreira in midfield is part of our best team.
Asked about the possibility of resting the 22 year old, the Spaniard said, “In my career, I never made these decisions.
“We are going to play the next match in Brighton and we are going to play full – not with considered options or playing with more caution.
“The same three points are in Brighton that are in Liverpool and we are going to play first in Brighton. It’s a tough match and we will need every player with 100% focus to do everything on the pitch to win.
“I don’t know whether Torreira would even be able to play cautiously but I don’t want him to think about the possibility of a suspension for one yellow card.”
There’s logic to his approach of course, as Arsenal are still short of defensive options and may have to use Granit Xhaka in a back three, but it’s a tough situation for Emery who can’t be blind to the blow it would be to go to Anfield without Torreira.
The old adage about the next game being the most important is clearly in play here, so let’s keep fingers crossed for three points and no booking for Lucas.