Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka suffered yet another injury scare during Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League defeat to RC Lens on Tuesday night. The 22-year-old had picked up recent knocks during Premier League clashes against Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth but Mikel Arteta still opted to start his star winger for his side’s trip to France.
Saka had started the European clash well, assisting Gabriel Jesus’ opener after just 14 minutes. But his evening ended just 19 minutes later after appearing to pick up some kind of muscle injury, a major worry for the north Londoners ahead of Sunday’s showdown against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
As fears continue to grow that the England international could miss the highly-anticipated clash with the Citizens, football.london has rounded up everything that has been reported on Saka’s current fitness status below.
Arteta has provided an update on Saka’s injury following his side’s Champions League defeat to RC Lens. Speaking to TNT Sports, the Spaniard said: “It wasn’t an action, it was a back heel and he felt something and he wasn’t comfortable to continue.”
When asked if he knew how severe the issue was, Arteta simply shook his head. If Saka is out, it will be a huge blow to the Gunners ahead of what is undoubtedly their biggest Premier League game of the season. Arteta also spoke to TV Sport 2 where his diagnosis of Saka’s injury was far more worrying.
The Gunners manager said: “It doesn’t look good.”
Saka fell to the floor mid-way through the first half of Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to RC Lens which eventually saw him replaced by Fabio Vieira. The Hale End academy graduate was a doubt heading into the game after picking up a knock against Bournemouth but he started the game in France.
However, Saka’s evening lasted just 33 minutes after he dropped to the floor holding his hamstring. Moments earlier the 22-year-old had gestured to Arsenal boss Arteta that he was feeling a slight issue before making his way off the pitch.
Cryptic post hints at injury return
Bukayo Saka has posted a cryptic message to Instagram as Arsenal face an anxious wait over his fitness ahead of Premier League clash against Bournemouth. The England international limped off against Tottenham in the North London Derby last weekend sparking fears that he could be sidelined for a number of weeks.
Saka has now posted a picture of himself inside a gym on his Instagram story – suggesting he is actively working on his fitness ahead of the trip to Bournemouth this weekend. It’s unclear whether the England international is doing recovery work or is fully fit and ready to return to training.
Arteta admits Bournemouth doubt
Saka is a doubt for Arsenal’s Premier League fixture against Bournemouth this weekend, Arteta has confirmed. Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ Carabao Cup third-round tie against Brentford Arteta said: “He was limping quite badly after the match.
“We had to get him off the field. He hasn’t been able to participate in the session.
“It’s a possibility (he could miss Bournemouth).”
Saka was in severe pain after taking a knock on his foot during Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Spurs. But thankfully for Mikel Arteta and Co, this is not thought to be anything serious, with the England winger recovering.
It seems unlikely that he will be risked for Wednesday evening’s Carabao Cup fixture against Brentford, a match that Arteta is expected to rotate heavily for.
Mikel Arteta update
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has played down the talented youngster’s Achilles issue, claiming that most players have aches and pains at various times of the season.
“He’s fine, he trained normally today. There’s nothing to report,” the Spaniard said when asked about Saka.
He added: “Every player has pains or issues. But [there is] nothing to worry about.”
According to the Daily Mail, Saka is still being nagged by an Achilles injury that bothered him during the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
As a result, he was named on the bench for Tuesday night’s friendly against Scotland.
England boss manager Gareth Southgate previously revealed the issue back in June following Saka ‘s unforgettable hattrick against North Macedonia.
Speaking about the youngster’s goals after that game, Southgate said: “We weren’t surprised by the first one, that’s how he’s been all week, we hadn’t seen the second one coming. I am delighted for him.
“He’s had a slightly sore Achilles and it’s another one where it would have been easy to lull out on the camp and miss out on a night like this that I’m sure will live with him forever.”
The Three Lions boss continued: “He’s had it for a few weeks. It is an injury that just needs managing… when you’ve had one of the best nights of your life, it’s a reminder that it’s worth going through these things.”
Sir Alex Ferguson warning
Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has previously warned Saka and other youngsters that managers play an important role in protecting their players