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Mikel Arteta provides Bukayo Saka injury update after concerning knock against Sevilla

Saka’s second-half substitution would have also been a worry for the on-looking England manager Gareth Southgate

Jamie Braidwood
Thursday 09 November 2023 07:35 GMT
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'He's getting used to it:' Arteta on the Saka treatment after 2-0 win over Sevilla

Mikel Arteta is hopeful Bukayo Saka will be fine after the Arsenal forward was brought off with a “knock’’ in the Champions League victory over Sevilla.

Saka was the star of the show as Arsenal brushed Sevilla aside in a 2-0 win at the Emirates, setting up Leandro Trossard’s opener before doubling the hosts’ lead in the second half.

But the 22-year-old was once again on the receiving end of several fouls from the Sevilla defenders and signalled to come off late in the contest after an awkward landing.

Arteta, however, did not appear to be overly concerned after Saka’s early exit. Arsenal host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, while Gareth Southgate watched on at the Emirates ahead of announcing his England squad on Thursday ahead of qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

Saka will be hoping to return to the England squad after missing October’s internationals and Arteta said: “It was just a kick and I was told by the physios he wasn’t happy to continue. I want to assume he will be OK.”

Arteta said Saka is “getting used” to being on the receiving end of challenges after Sevilla fouled the winger four times inside the opening 20 minutes of the Group B fixture. “That’s not going to change,” Areta said. “The way he attacks players.”

Arsenal were without captain Martin Odegaard and striker Eddie Nketiah against Sevilla, but Arteta said both are “racing against the clock” and could be fit for Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus, who was also missing due to injury, will not be back until after the international break.

Arsenal would have qualified for the knockout stages had Lens been victorious at PSV. But with a four-point gap at the top of Group B, the north London club will almost certainly continue their Champions League adventure in 2024.

Arteta added: “I think it was more of the really good things that we did against Newcastle. We didn’t need a response because the team performed extraordinarily well against a team that are really difficult to play against.

“Today it needed other requirements, tactically we needed something else and we implemented what we wanted really, really well, so I’m really happy with the last two performances.”

On top of worries over Saka, Takehiro Tomiyasu was also taken off during the interval.

“He had some discomfort in the first half,” Arteta said of the defender.

“We didn’t want to take any risks because he’s played a lot of minutes. With Alex (Oleksandr Zinchenko) on the bench ready to come in, I think it was the right decision.”

Includes reporting from PA

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