Mikel Arteta admits that he may have to rotate against Leicester after Arsenal’s heroics on Thursday.
The Gunners were in action on Thursday evening as they earned their place in the last 16 of the Europa League at Benfica’s expense, before admitting that Bukayo Saka was suffering with fatigue.
The manager claims that his squad doesn’t have further issues with regards to injury since the match, but that he will need to reanalyse his players after their latest exploits.
Arteta told Arsenal Media: “Let’s see how we are feeling tomorrow. Today the players are still in Greece, we have to travel back on a four-hour flight but we won’t use that as an excuse. We have to deal with that, we know that when you play in European competition you have to be able to perform every three days and we will prepare to play Leicester with the same intensity like we always do.
“We had some things going on but I cannot say anything now because there are a few players who are still in contention for the game.
“They (Leicester) have been really consistent in the league. I think they’ve done a lot of good things, there’s not any luck or anything like that in how they’ve developed as a team. Obviously they have a really good manager, a great coaching staff and they have made a lot of good decisions in the last few seasons. They have built a way of playing which is completely suited to their recruitment policy they have, and with a bit of time the quality that they had already in the team – plus some young talents that they have recruited and experienced players they already have – they have a really good mixture. I think they totally deserve the position they are in at the moment.”
The manager certainly sounds as if he is worried about some players going into tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Leicester, especially Saka, who will surely be given a rare rest from action.
Arteta is clearly aware that the youngster is amongst his most valuable players, and will have to decide whether he can afford to leave his youngster out of his side knowing the threat that the Foxes will provide tomorrow.
Will the manager look to start Saka again despite his condition?