Mikel Arteta is still hopeful that Bukayo Saka can play a part against Manchester City on Sunday despite picking up an injury against Lens in midweek.
The attacker was forced off the field out in France during the first half of our Champions League clash on Tuesday night to put his participation against the reigning champions this weekend in doubt, but Mikel provided journalists with an update on his condition in his pre-match press conference.
“He is in contention, we'll see how he progresses from here to Sunday,” the boss said. “Obviously he had to leave the pitch [against RC Lens], that's never good news, but let's see how he recovers.”
Bukayo will be hopeful that his run of appearing in a club-record 87 successive Premier League matches continues on the weekend, having scored in both of our last two home games against Manchester City.
He was named in the England squad for their upcoming games in the international break, and Mikel admits that he has provided Gareth Southgate with the latest updates as both bosses aim to utilise their player’s talents as much as possible, while ensuring he remains able to perform at his best.
“I have spoken to Gareth on several occasions but I have to do my job,” Mikel said. “I give him the news and the position that everybody is at, and then we have really good communication. He needs to make the best decision for the national team and organising them.”
Mikel also provided an update on Thomas Partey, who missed five matches with a groin injury but was named on the bench for the Lens game in midweek.
“He's ahead of schedule that's for sure,” Arteta added. “We wanted to have him in the squad if we needed to, the way the game panned out we had other necessities and we didn't use him. He will be in the squad tomorrow.”
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