Everyone is curious about Bukayo Saka’s fitness, such as the extent of his injuries. After limping off after the North London derby, many assumed he’d be out for a few games, but that wasn’t the case; he played in our 4-0 win against Bournemouth, despite Arteta’s admission on Friday, “The assessment is ‘okay, is he fit enough and good enough to be able to be selected tomorrow?’ That’s the question mark, and so far he hasn’t trained with the team.”
It took him 17 minutes to score. However, as the game went on, he picked up an injury; he was limping in the second half until being replaced by Fabio Vieira in the 76th minute. Following the game, Arteta stated, “I don’t know yet; I haven’t had a chance to speak to him. I think this one was a stamp; it wasn’t the same area, I don’t know, and Gabi was limping after the game; let’s see how they are.”
From Arteta’s admission, I don’t think I’d be wrong in insinuating he hopes Saka isn’t badly injured and can play a role in our Champions League clash with Lens midweek.
I don’t believe many will argue with me if I say Arteta should resist the temptation to use our Star Boy in a midweek game, even if he’s fit.
Every player wishes to play in the Champions League; nevertheless, for Saka’s fitness, he must miss this game against Lens. In fact, Saka should not have started against Bournemouth; he should have just made it to our substitutes bench and then perhaps been introduced as an impact sub if the game wasn’t going away, though I doubt Bournemouth would have troubled us even if we were Saka-less.
The hope is that Saka’s injury isn’t serious and that he can recuperate during the week to help us secure one of the most crucial wins of the season, against Manchester City, next weekend. Many who saw the Citizens lose 2-1 to the Wolves saw how Guardiola’s right wing can be vulnerable, which may be music to our No. 7’s ears if he is fit to face the Citizens.
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