Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are both injury doubts for Arsenal’s match against Liverpool, according to the latest quotes from Mikel Arteta.
Going into one of Arsenal’s biggest remaining Premier League fixtures this weekend, Mikel Arteta could be without a couple of his usual starters in Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
Smith Rowe picked up a knock to his hip with the England u21s over the international break, whilst Saka has been working to overcome an ongoing hamstring concern – which forced him to pull out of England senior duty last month.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Arteta suggested both players are doubtful for the Liverpool match. Saka hasn’t rejoined full training just yet, whilst they need to assess Smith Rowe before deciding if he can rejoin training too.
“Bukayo hasn’t trained with the team yet,” Arteta said. “He’s been doing some individual work.
“We had to pull him out of the England squad, unfortunately. He’s feeling better, but he hasn’t trained with the team yet.
“Emile has some discomfort in his hip and that’s why they decided to keep him out.
“We will see today how he comes here, we will speak with the doctors and the physios and see if he is available for training tomorrow.”
Arsenal do have alternatives for the Liverpool game. Nicolas Pepe can start on the right, Martin Odegaard is available in the middle, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli, and Willian are all options on the left.
All the same, they’ll want Smith Rowe and Saka back as soon as possible. It’s not just about the Liverpool game, but the Slavia Prague quarter-final the following week. Ideally, you want to have everyone fit to rotate between whenever necessary.