Mikel Arteta admits Bukayo Saka’s thigh injury is ‘the last thing we need’ with Arsenal starlet hobbling off in victory at Sheffield United and a doubt for crunch clash with Slavia Prague
‘I don’t know the extent,’ said Arteta. ‘He had discomfort in the thigh, and that’s the last thing we need. We are missing big players and we don’t want to lose another one.’
Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal’s victory at Sheffield United was marred by Bukayo Saka’s injury
Saka limped off the field at Bramall Lane with a thigh problem and is now a doubt for Thursday
Arsenal travelled to Sheffield without a host of regulars, including Martin Odergaard, Emile Smith Rowe and captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who was ill and unable to train on Saturday.
David Luiz and Kieran Tierney will not be fit for Prague but Arteta hopes one or more of the others might be back and he looks to kick on from this convincing win.
‘We had a really strong performance,’ said the Arsenal boss. ‘A clean sheet was needed after a long run without it. We were efficient, intelligent and composed on the ball.
‘We showed dedication and understanding. We scored some really nice goals and winning always breeds confidence. It is ideal preparation for Thursday.’
Arteta heaped praise on Alexandre Lacazette after the striker netted his 50th goal for Arsenal
He also praised Alex Lacazette, captain in Aubameyang’s absence and scorer of two goals, which took him to 50 Premier League goals for the club.
Arteta said: ‘He is in great form, playing really well. Against Prague he missed two big chances but he has been playing well and he needed those goals. He needs to keep doing it. If he’s able to continue this run it will mean the team is doing well and we’re winning football matches.’
Lacazette added: ‘It was very important to win after the last few games. We know we have quality and with focus can do good things but sometimes we miss a little bit at both ends of the pitch. In this game we were good at both ends. We have to focus and come back on Thursday. It is a decisive game.’
Sheffield United interim boss Paul Heckingbottom said: ‘We’ll keep fighting and pushing to make sure we get more points before the end of the season. You have to learn from the tough moments and come back stronger.’
Published at Mon, 12 Apr 2021 10:24:25 +0000-Mikel Arteta admits Bukayo Saka’s thigh injury is ‘the last thing’ Arsenal need