Mikel Arteta has provided an injury update on Bukayo Saka ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League round of 16 second leg against Olympiacos on Thursday night at the Emirates.
The England international was taken off at half time in the North London Derby and replaced by Nicolas Pepe in what the Gunners boss later confirmed was as a result of an injury concern.
“No, no it was an injury,” he said when asked to explain the surprise change.
“We don’t know, he was feeling his hamstring,” Arteta added when asked to explain the nature of the injury.
And now speaking ahead of the Europa League clash against the Greek champions the Arsenal boss delivered good news on the 19-year-old.
“Everybody is more or less ok,” he said when asked about team news ahead of the match.
“We had a few doubts, but hopefully everybody is going to be involved in the squad.”
When pressed on how Saka was getting on specifically he admitted that the versatile winger was facing a late fitness test, but that he has a chance of being available for the second leg clash.
“We were doing another test,” Arteta said. “He felt something muscular.
“He’s been doing much, much better and evolving really well so we will make the decision this afternoon on what we will do.”
The Spaniard is expected to rotate his side after the North London Derby win ahead of a crucial Premier League game against West Ham on Sunday.
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With Olympiacos needing a three goal swing to knock Arsenal out of the Europa League for a second season in a row after the Gunners 3-1 victory in Athens, Arteta admitted he would be looking at the number of minutes his players have played in recent times before making his selection choices ahead of Thursday night’s game.
However, he was keen to emphasise that whichever side he put out, it would be one he thought would capable of winning the crucial game.
“We look at all the minutes everybody has played,” he said. “It’s true that we have some players with significant loads, but our priority is to win these next two games.”