Is Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka in danger of burnout ahead of next season’s title challenge?

Will Saka still be able to help Arsenal deliver again after the Euros?

The life of a footballer as many know is very physically and mentally strenuous, despite many being wrapped up in their own safety bubble from the public on the whole.

Bukayo Saka is one of those who certainly falls under that category of players, and is as crucial for Arsenal as he is for his country England currently, but is he overstepping the line?

Recently the 22-year-old pulled out of England friendlies versus Brazil and Belgium at Wembley in late March due to an unspecified injury, which even now we are unsure of the reason. He was playing for the Gunners again after the international break seemingly fine finishing the season in a flurry. This caused much speculation, with many querying whether it was because he wanted to focus on the then title chase and Arsenal, and that he couldn’t handle both duties, before The Gunners lost the Premiership on the final day of the season to Manchester City last month.

Last season Saka worked tirelessly, appearing in nearly every Premier League game (35) and every single one during the previous two years, a demand which the most respected players including the likes of Manchester City’s potent striker Haaland hasn’t met since coming to England for the last two years.

In fact, in the last two campaigns including England duty Saka has appeared in over 100 games! Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace who played the full 90 minute for England on Sunday in their 1-0 Euros 2024 opening win over Serbia, in comparison, has taken three campaigns to play just over 100 games with the Eagles in nearly double the time. Even Liverpool and England’s crucial defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was given more of a rest than Saka last year in the Premiership playing 28 games nearly ten matches less.

The winger has played a crucial role in the Arsenal side since Mikel Arteta took over in late 2020, and has hardly been handed a break since on the domestic and international stage (including the 2020 Euros and 2022 World Cup).  Despite this he has still soldiered on stronger than ever, but who’s to say he won’t hit a rough patch after the Euros, depending on how far The Three Lions advance?

As they say all good things have to come to an end eventually, but hopefully not yet in Saka’s case anyway!

Liam Harding


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7 Comments

  1. It would depend on whether Vieira, Nwaneri and Havertz will rotate with Saka for the inverted-RW role or not

    Unfortunately, Fabrizio Romano just mentioned that Cozier-Duberry will leave us for free, so Arsenal would likely have to rely on Nwaneri as Saka’s understudy

    1. Gai, Nwaneri would be suited as Odegard under study they play similarly as midfielders. I don’t see Viera having a long term future with Arsenal. In my opinion he is too light weight for Epl though technically gifted. Saka surely need some good rotation from Arteta. I read in daily mail that Arteta has enquire about Girona midfielder/ right wing Viktor quite a good pacey player

      1. Yeah Nwaneri could also learn fron Odegaard

        Viktor Tsygankov from Girona looks interesting. I think he would likely not mind becoming Saka’s backup

      1. Havertz a right winger now? i know he has reputation for versatility but that’s too far, although did i read he played left back for Germany or something?

  2. If we sign a new striker, perhaps Arteta will move Jesus to the right to rotate with Saka who will need much more rest than the last few seasons, but I think Jesus on the right could be an option, at least going forward not sure about his defending.

    If these rumours about Gyokeres are true (and that is a big IF), what will Arteta do with Havertz? I hope he will not try to get too cute and work both of them into a starting 11. Havertz was OK as a striker, but not so OK in midfield or out on the wings. To put Havertz on the bench after one season which he finished quite strong seems a pity, but to spend big on Gyokeres only to make him a backup to Havertz also seems silly.

    1. It has almost been a widespread opinion that Havertz is bad at midfield. I think people missed how Rice was bad at playing as number 6 while Havertz was in the midfield. And it’s showing now in the Euros with England as well. Rice lacks vision in his passing required to play as a number 6. He is superb defensively but not much when it comes to breaking the midfield lines with his passes. Go back to the matches in the month of December, and rewatch them one by one, you will see, Havertz’s struggle in midfield was mainly caused by Rice playing as a 6. Nobody noticed that, well he’s Rice, and he is amazing so he must be playing well! But no, he struggled in breaking the lines that Partey and Jorgi seem to do with ease. If we had a fully fit Partey, Havertz would absolutely fit in the midfield as an 8.

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