Arteta’s Saka, Saliba and Trossard injury update | News

Ahead of our game against Chelsea on Saturday, Mikel Arteta acknowledges the need to evaluate the fitness of Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, and Leandro Trossard in today’s final training session.

Two weeks ago, the trio had to withdraw from their international squads due to minor issues. Bukayo and Leandro were struggling with hamstring injuries, while William had a problem with his big toe.

Considering these uncertainties, along with the absence of 14 players on international duty in the past 10 days, Mikel has a general idea of the starting 11 for the match at Stamford Bridge. However, he is not ruling out anyone at this stage.

Reflecting on his selection challenges, he states, “We obviously haven’t had a lot of players. It’s the first training session we’re going to do today, and we will know more after the session.”

“I do have an idea [of the starting XI], but I have to see them all together today and assess everyone’s condition. Many players have traveled around the world and played a lot of minutes. I want to determine what is best for tomorrow, not only tactically but also in terms of energy, mood, and spirit. After today’s session, I will have a better understanding.”

Bukayo missed his first Premier League game in 88 matches against Manchester City last time due to an injury suffered against Lens in the Champions League nearly three weeks ago.

Although some suggest that the break between matches might have been beneficial for him, Mikel disagrees. Despite not playing competitive football, Bukayo has been engaged in rehabilitation, making it an active period for him.

Regarding Bukayo’s chances of playing against Chelsea, Mikel comments, “I’m sure he wants to play. I don’t see any player there that doesn’t want to be in the starting XI. He has been working so hard to be fit for this game, and let’s see where he is at today. He had a couple of necessary rest days, but it hasn’t been a true rest for him as he needed treatment and training to prepare for Chelsea.”

“We should play him when we see that he is mentally and physically ready to perform at his best. He needs to earn his place in the team. However, so far, when he has played for that duration, it’s because we believed he was capable of handling it.”

Meanwhile, William has been struggling with a toe issue and used the international break as an opportunity to try and resolve it. However, there are also doubts surrounding his participation.

When asked if the injury could reoccur, Mikel responded, “Hopefully not, but he has been dealing with it for weeks now, and we wanted to use this time to address it. We believe it was the right moment to do so.”

Listen to everything the boss discussed in his pre-Chelsea press conference, including his relationship with Mauricio Pochettino, our various penalty takers, and much more.



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