Mikel Arteta has admitted he doesn’t know whether Bukayo Saka will be okay for Arsenal’s next game, against Aston Villa on Friday.
Bukayo Saka went down under an unfair challenge in the first half of Arsenal’s fixture against Crystal Palace on Monday, with James McArthur only receiving a yellow when many felt he deserved a red. Saka ended up having to come off at half-time.
The game is gone now, but the potential consequences of McArthur’s volley remain. Mikel Arteta confirmed after the game that he’s not sure whether or not Saka will be alright for the next match.
“I don’t know, we will see how it evolves,” Arteta said. “Obviously he couldn’t continue and he’s a boy that’s pretty tough and wants to keep playing, but he could not carry on and we have a quick turnaround for the next game, so we will see how he evolves.
“Bukayo could not continue. We had to take him off at half time. I saw the action and I can’t believe how the player (McArthur) continued on the pitch.”
It would obviously be a blow to Arsenal to lose Saka, who is one of the key players in the side. He’s one of a few players in the squad who can lift the team on his own when he’s on form.
The last thing Saka needed was an impact injury, given he’s already under enough stress on the fitness front from all the games he’s played over the last year or so.
It might not be the worst thing for Saka and Arsenal in the long term if he got a rest for a week or two now, even if it might hurt the team in the short term.