Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal ‘don’t know’ regarding the status of Bukayo Saka after the wonderkid was left out for the Gunners tonight, having not been ‘ready’ to feature against Olympiacos.
Saka was not part of the matchday squad for the Europa League defeat, though the Gunners sealed qualification to the next knockout round as a result of their 3-1 victory in the first-leg of the tie.
The 19-year-old was substituted by Mikel Arteta at halftime in the win against North London rivals Tottenham, with the versatile winger clearly unable to overcome those issues by tonight.
Arteta stated that the team’s decision ahead of the massive clash against West Ham on the weekend will ‘depend’ on how Saka ‘feels’ over the next three days.
This also has implication for Saka’s international hopes, with Arteta admitting that the weekend has to be seen out first before a decision is made with England’s doctors over the ace who was just called up.
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Mikel Arteta admitted that Bukayo Saka was not ‘ready’ to feature for Arsenal today in a potential injury worry… pic.twitter.com/Na0zxdBQeY
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“We don’t know, it depends on how he feels in the next few days. We spoke yesterday and he wasn’t ready to be involved today.”
“We made that decision and we will make that decision for Sunday against West Ham, then we will talk with the doctors at the national team to decide what we do.”
Saka is a pivotal figure for the Gunners, they really shouldn’t risk the youngster against the Hammers if he isn’t fully fit, but at the same time it’s a massive encounter that could push them up the table.
Arsenal currently sit 10th in the Premier League, seven points off a guaranteed spot in the Europa League next season via West Ham who sit fifth and five behind Liverpool in sixth.
The spot that the Reds currently occupy would offer Europa League football should the winner of this season’s FA Cup finish in the top five of the Premier League.
Arsenal also have a route to potential Champions League qualification as they’ve advanced in Europe’s secondary club competition, with the winner of the Europa League qualifying automatically.