However, the Gunners, who had four players at the Afcon tournament as well as a number of injuries and Covid cases, said they “reluctantly” requested a postponement and were “disappointed” the game had to be rearranged.
The Premier League said requests for postponements would continue to be assessed on “a case-by-case basis” and added: “Throughout the pandemic, the Premier League has adapted its guidance in response to the wider public health situation.
“The guidance was last updated in December in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
“The Premier League Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of Covid-19; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.”
Analysis – ‘International absences will not come into play again’
Simon Stone, BBC Sport
The reduction in the number of positive Covid-19 tests in the Premier League this week to 16, plus the increase in the number of Covid positives to four before a game can be called off, should have a significant impact on postponements.
The Premier League have always known postponing large numbers of games indefinitely was not an option because the final games have to be played on 22 May.
But the current international break offered the chance to re-assess and while injuries can still be used in proving a club cannot meet the 13+1 criteria, with the Africa Cup of Nations over before the next full round of matches, the international absences will not come into play again.
It should provide some certainty ahead of the next phase of the season, to the international window in March, in which there are seven rounds of matches, plus the fourth and fifth rounds of the FA Cup.
There are still 19 matches to be re-arranged, the four involving Leicester are particularly troublesome as Brendan Rodgers’ side are about to embark on a Europa Conference League knockout campaign.
But the fact this new criteria comes into effect from the resumption should at least ensure the game that has caused most problems, the twice postponed relegation duel between Burnley and Watford, who now have a new manager in Roy Hodgson, should finally go ahead at Turf Moor on 5 February.