When Arteta and Arsenal could rest Bukayo Saka


LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers - Pool/Getty Images)

Arteta admits Saka is fatigued

Mikel Arteta has admitted that Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka is in need of some rest considering the amount of games which he has played over recent weeks.

The England international has been in pivotal and electric form for The Gunners who desperately needed the 19-year-old to step up with an assist in order to save their Europa League campaign.

Arteta said that it is not just Saka though that requires rest.

“On Thursday night at some stages in the game we were thinking about that, because you can see it,” said Arteta.

“It is not only him, there are a lot of players who have played so many minutes, you could see the Benfica players and you could sense the fatigue and the changes they had to do straight away.”

“But obviously when things go well the energy that creates sometimes overcomes fatigue, and I prefer not to talk too much about fatigue.”

“If we have to rest players, we have to rest them, because we have to keep them fit as much as possible but as well you have to develop that mental toughness that you need when you are in competitions you want to win.”

When could Saka be rested?

The question then lies when it would be most appropriate for Arsenal to rest the winger.

Arsenal face Leicester City on Sunday in a game which the north London side will be desperate to win to claw their way back up the table. The Foxes meanwhile are pushing for a Champions League qualification spot after being knocked out of the Europa League – meaning the only way of playing in Europe’s elite competition next season is through a top 4 finish.

After Leicester however is a week’s break for The Gunners until they play Burnley at the weekend. Arteta could choose to risk Saka one more time in order to try and get maximum points away this weekend before giving him a full week’s rest ahead of Burnley.

When Arteta and Arsenal could rest Bukayo Saka

PIRAEUS, GREECE – FEBRUARY 25: (2ndL) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring the 3rd Arsenal goal with (L) Willian, (R) Alex Lacazette and Bukayo Saka during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Arsenal FC and SL Benfica at Karaiskakis Stadium on February 25, 2021 in Piraeus, Greece. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Burnley are a side Arsenal should have the quality to get past without Saka and Arteta could give him more than a week’s rest after Leicester.

Alternatively with Arsenal drawing against an arguably beatable opponent in the Europa League, despite the fact Olympiacos knocked out The Gunners last season, he could choose to rest Saka in the first or second leg of the last 16 match.

Plenty of options and a necessity to avoid burning out the brilliant youth product will be filling the Spaniard’s thoughts this week.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 25 35 59
2 Manchester United FC 25 21 49
3 Leicester City FC 25 17 49
4 West Ham United FC 25 10 45
5 Chelsea FC 25 16 43
6 Liverpool FC 25 11 40
7 Everton FC 24 4 40
8 Aston Villa FC 23 11 36
9 Tottenham Hotspur FC 24 10 36
10 Leeds United 25 0 35
11 Arsenal FC 25 5 34
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 25 -6 33
13 Crystal Palace FC 25 -14 32
14 Southampton FC 25 -12 30
15 Burnley FC 25 -12 28
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 25 -6 26
17 Newcastle United FC 25 -17 25
18 Fulham FC 25 -11 22
19 West Bromwich Albion 25 -36 14
20 Sheffield United FC 25 -26 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7

Source: 101greatgoals.com