Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will breathe a huge sigh of relief after learning that Bukayo Saka’s recent injury is not as serious as first feared.
What’s the latest?
Despite initial concerns, injury journalist Ben Dinnery has provided some promising news concerning the England international, stating to GIVEMESPORT that the ‘impact’ issue should not affect the player’s prospects of playing in the forthcoming World Cup.
“The fact that he was able to continue in a little bit of discomfort before being replaced suggests that, hopefully, it isn’t too serious and it is just more of a heavy knock or an impact injury,” he said.
Saka has been in spectacular form for the Gunners this season, arising as one of the most influential figures in a burgeoning squad with big aspirations.
And fears of an extensive layoff seeped in after the 21-year-old whizz-kid was withdrawn from action just 27 minutes into Arsenal’s recent 5-0 dismantling of lowly Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, after grabbing an assist for Gabriel Martinelli’s opener five minutes in.
Relief for club and country
Arsenal’s very own ‘starboy’ has gone from strength to strength this term, taking abundant potential and nurturing that ability toward becoming an integral force on the domestic and international stage.
Considering the importance of the player to Arteta’s flying Gunners, the knowledge that he will only miss a few matches at worst will be music to the Spaniard’s ears.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after obliterating hapless Forest, Arteta said “hopefully not” when discussing his fitness hopes for the World Cup, praying that the 21-year-old had merely knocked his leg after a heavy challenge from Forest’s Renan Lodi, signed from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan in the summer.
Indeed, England’s Men’s Player of the Year is expected to be available for the World Cup as Gareth Southgate looks to further the progress of the national side and clinch the coveted gilted trophy for the first time since 1966, the Three Lions’ solitary triumph.
Playing in every match for his side this term, Saka has tallied a stellar return of five goals and five assists in 17 fixtures from the right flank.
Despite his youthful years, Saka combines an array of physical attributes with a mental aptitude and an innate footballing brain; what results is a menacing force for his side, with Arsenal legend Ray Parlour lauding him as a “revelation”.
Last year, the 20-cap England international impressed in an Arsenal side threatening brilliance; now, he is a fearless and unyielding force in a formidable football team.
FBref state Saka incredibly ranks within the top 10% against positional peers for all attacking statistics the site has to offer, notably within the top 5% for non-penalty goals and the top 2% for total shots taken. Additionally, the England maestro ranks within the top 3% for progressive passes recorded.
What this depicts is a dynamic winger building block upon block to his game with each passing week, offering direct offensive firepower and playing influential roles in forward transitional plays.
The £63m-rated prodigy is quite simply a tool that his managers cannot afford to see sidelined; this season the Englishman has averaged 2.3 shots per game, whilst maintaining an 83% passing accuracy despite his high frontal position on the pitch, as per SofaScore.
Therefore, Arteta and co will be absolutely delighted to have the versatile winger likely to be available for selection ahead of this weekend’s clash with Chelsea in the Premier League, with Thursday’s encounter against FC Zurich an ideal chance to rest him.