Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, disclosed five unexpected options to substitute the injured Saka for the Bournemouth match this Saturday.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is facing a significant challenge due to an injury that star winger Bukayo Saka is grappling with, which could potentially sideline him for an upcoming Premier League match against Bournemouth.
If Saka indeed misses the match, it would mark a break in his club-record streak of 86 consecutive Premier League appearances.
Arteta is evaluating five surprising alternatives to replace Saka and ensure that Arsenal maintains its competitive edge.
One potential alternative is Fabio Vieira, who, despite facing challenges adapting to English football initially, has shown promise in the current season. He could potentially play on the right, aligning with Arteta’s preference for an inverted style
Vieira’s recent absence from the squad has raised uncertainty about his availability.
Reiss Nelson is another option, having scored a crucial goal against Brentford and vying for a starting position.
Although he typically performs well on the left, he might need to adjust to a right-wing role, necessitating potential alterations in Arsenal’s attacking approach.
Gabriel Jesus, typically a central striker, could shift to the left-wing position, allowing either Nelson or Emile Smith Rowe to fill the opposite flank.
Given Jesus’s prior experience in the wider position during his time at Manchester City, he presents a viable alternative.
Kai Havertz, known for his versatility across the frontline and attacking midfield, is also under consideration.
His left-footed playing style is somewhat akin to Saka’s. However, standing at 6ft 4ins, Havertz offers a different winger style compared to the England star.
Lastly, Charles Sagoe Jr, a 19-year-old academy prospect, recently made a surprising full debut in a match.
While starting in a Premier League game might be premature for him, he could be a valuable option coming off the bench.
In this critical situation, Arteta must carefully weigh these alternatives, considering their respective strengths, adaptability, and how they fit into the overall team strategy.
The decision will significantly impact Arsenal’s gameplay and could potentially influence the outcome of the match against Bournemouth.