With Gabriel Jesus making a goalscoring return to the starting lineup last weekend, Mikel Arteta faces a selection headache for our trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard have all been in excellent form this season with 22, 16 and eight Premier League goal involvements respectively – not to mention Reiss Nelson’s three goals and two assists at incredibly vital moments too.
But with Jesus (seven goals and five assists) now back to full fitness as well, it appears as though two of Arteta’s in-form forwards will have to miss out for the trip to Anfield on Sunday.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, the manager said even those not named in the starting lineup against Liverpool could still have a big part to play.
Asked how he will make his selection at the weekend, he replied: “It depends on the moment, what we want to do, the quality we are seeking and the relationships that we want on certain days.
“Then obviously you can make five changes [in the game], so you have the ability to change the game with those players, which is great for us.
“It’s much better to have that problem because at the moment they are all looking really good.”
Saka – Premier League Player of the Month for March - started last weekend’s win over Leeds on the bench due to illness, though the manager confirmed he has since recovered. He also said he would talk through his decision with the relevant players before the game.
“Normally with players that are very much in contention [we tell them] to understand why we did it or why we made that decision,” he said.
“So it’s clarity and when there is clarity, I think the emotional state of the player is much better to be ready for the club and the team that we are going to be facing on Sunday.”
If Trossard – who scooped the Arsenal award for Player of the Month in March – is involved, he could become the first visiting player in Premier League history to score for two different teams at Anfield in the same season, after his hat-trick for former club Brighton back in October.
“It’s great to have a player that has experience of something really nice and positive from that stadium,” Arteta said. “He was a crucial player on that day, it was a beautiful game to watch and that’s what we need; players with a lot of belief on that pitch, that we can go there and win it.”
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