Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has allayed fears about Bukayo Saka after the England winger was withdrawn during Monday night’s 3-0 FA Cup third round win over Oxford.
The 21-year-old was treated for what appeared to be discomfort in his right knee with the Gunners 2-0 up, and he was taken off immediately before Arsenal scored a decisive third.
Saka has featured in all but one of Arsenal’s 25 games in all competitions so far this season, starting 20 of them and missing on the Carabao Cup defeat to Brighton in November. Saka has also had a direct hand in 13 goals (seven scored, six assists).
But Arteta was able to give a positive update after the final whistle, telling broadcaster ITV: “He is fine, he was fine.”
It therefore bodes well for Saka being fit when the Gunners makes the short trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the north London derby on Sunday.
This is now part of a crunch period for Arsenal, with a resurgent Manchester United to visit the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League and an FA Cup tie against Manchester City before the end of January. The Gunners still lead the Premier League by five points ahead of City.
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But fans are keen for the club to use the January transfer window to strengthen in order to maintain that advantage until the end, especially after seeing Chelsea close in on Joao Felix.
Arsenal themselves remain in talks over a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk, having so far seen offers of €60m and €70m rejected. Shakhtar value the player at €90m, citing the summer transfer of Antony to Manchester United for a similar amount.
Arteta gave little away on Monday when the topic of recruitment came up.
“My job is to make those players [we have] as good as I can, we try to do that and if we have any reinforcements then great,” the boss explained.