Bukayo Saka Champions League injury “doesn’t look good” says Arteta

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
05/10/2023
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Bukayo Saka suffers injury in Champions League

Mikel Arteta told the press following Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to RC Lens that Bukayo Saka’s injury “doesn’t look good.”

News Insights

  • Bukayo Saka limped off in the 34th minute against Lens
  • Arteta described Saka’s injury as a muscular injury.
  • Saka has started 87 consecutive Premier League games for Arsenal.
  • Arsenal are second favourites to win the Premier League.

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka went down with an injury just half an hour into the Gunners’ Champions League match against RC Lens. The 22-year-old star boy left the match limping in the 34th minute, and his side would go on to lose the match 2-1. 

Following the match, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said of Saka’s injury that it “doesn’t look good.” There are now fears that Saka could be out for Arsenal’s heavyweight clash against Manchester City this weekend. Some fear he could be out even longer. 

Saka injury could be serious

When Bukayo Saka limped off in the 34th minute against Lens, Arsenal fans all around the globe surely prayed it was just a minor knock and a precautionary sub. According to Mikel Arteta, this is not the case.

The Basque manager was vague with his words. He both said that it “doesn’t look good,” and that he doesn’t have a clue whether Saka will be able to play against Manchester City. This latter statement seemingly leaves the door open that a quick return for the 22-year-old Englishman is possible. Arteta’s other comments clarified things and threw cold water on the chance of a quick return. 

Arteta described Saka’s injury as a muscular injury that caused the winger discomfort. While every player recovers differently, clubs are usually unwilling to rush players back after muscular injuries. Saka could be out for some time as he recovers. 

Areta under fire for decision to play Saka

Mikel Arteta’s decision to play Saka against Lens has come under major scrutiny from Arsenal and England fans alike. The winger had left the Gunners’ 4-0 victory against Bournemouth early with a foot injury, so many say he should not have played against Lens. 

When asked if he had any regrets about playing Saka, Arteta said, “No. It was a knock that he had the other day and he was perfectly fine.

He further clarified that Saka’s injury against Lens was unrelated to his injury against the Cherries. “It was a backheel, an action that can produce that kind of injury,” said Arteta. 

Arsenal title chances take major hit without Saka

Not only is Bukayo Saka arguably Arsenal’s best player, he is incredibly consistent. Saka has started 87 consecutive Premier League games for Arsenal, which is a club record. If his injury is as bad as Mikel Arteta hinted at, this streak will come to an end this weekend, and so could Arsenal’s title chances. 

This season, Saka has scored four goals and made two assists. However, the 22-year-old’s impact at the club is so much more than the numbers he puts up. Anyone who watches Arsenal knows that everything in Arteta’s system runs through Saka or the Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard. Without Saka, the Gunner’s attack runs the risk of being very one-dimensional and easy to stop. 

We could get a look of what life without Saka looks like this weekend when Arsenal face off against Man City. At time of writing, Arsenal are second favourites to win the Premier League at pretty much all betting sites in Australia

If Arsenal lose this weekend, we would not be surprised to see them drop out of contention. Spurs and Liverpool will probably be considered stronger title contenders come the end of this weekend. 

Whatever happens this weekend, with or without Saka, Arsenal versus Manchester City should be a phenomenal match that should have big implications on the 2023/24 Premier League title race. 

If Saka doesn’t play, look to Gabriel Martinelli or Leandro Trossard as his potential replacements.