Mikel Arteta gives Bukayo Saka fitness update

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Mikel Arteta remains hopeful that Bukayo Saka will be fit for Saturday’s trip to Brighton.

Saka missed last night’s 2-0 win over Luton at The Emirates having come off in last weekend’s goalless draw against title rivals Manchester City.

Arteta revealed after the win against Luton that the England international was ‘close’ to making it although Arsenal didn’t need the 22-year-old as they returned to the top of the table thanks to Martin Odegaard and a Daiki Hashioka own goal.

Will Saka be fit for this weekend?

Arsenal head to the south coast on Saturday evening to take on Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton in a crunch game as they aim to keep alive their title hopes.

Arteta will be desperately hoping that Saka, who has scored 13 Premier League goals this season will be fit.

“He was close but again he felt something in a very similar area against City and it was a very short turnaround,” Arteta revealed post-match.

Saka has scored 13 goals in the Premier League this season.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to train again and we can have him for the weekend.”

The Arsenal boss has come in for criticism for supposedly overplaying Saka this season, and the winger has missed more games this campaign than any other in his career so far.

Saka’s absence from the squad made headlines pre game but Arteta told TNT Sports: “He hasn’t been able to do everything that we needed to give him the chance to start the game.”

Arsenal’s improved squad depth this season means that the absence of Saka isn’t felt as badly as it would have been last season.

Arteta was able to make four changes for the victory against Luton resting key players such as Declan Rice, and giving fringe players Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson an opportunity to impress.

On Arsenal’s squad depth Arteta said: “It’s certainly different to what we had last season.”

“Touch wood we can maintain them. As well that we use them and they are in the right physical and mental state to help the team.”

The Spaniard added: “When they have their moment they have to take it. They give me every reason every day, regardless of the result. At the end of you have to do what they deserve. Winning or not winning it’s a different story in football.”

Source link: Caughtoffside

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