Mikel Arteta delivers injury update on Bukayo Saka after Arsenal’s draw at Brighton
Mikel Arteta moves to play down fears about Bukayo Saka's fitness after the Arsenal forward limped off the pitch on Saturday night
Mikel Arteta has played down injury concerns surrounding Bukayo Saka after he was forced off with a knock late on during Arsenal’s goalless draw at Brighton on Saturday night.
Saka was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the closing stages of the Premier League clash at the Amex after appearing to be in some pain following a heavy challenge.
However, Arteta insisted that Saka was “fine” at his post-match news conference and played down concerns about the injury being a serious one.
Asked about Saka’s injury, Arteta replied: “He’s fine. He got a knock but he should be fine.”
Saka has been in good form for Arsenal so far this season, with the 20-year-old having scored one goal and made one assist for the Gunners in their 3-1 win over Tottenham last month.
He has started six of Arsenal’s seven games in the Premier League and will be hoping that his injury setback is not serious so that he can continue his run in the first team.
Meanwhile, Arteta reserved special praise for summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga after the Belgian midfielder played the full 90 minutes for the Gunners on the south coast.
Lokonga has now made four starts and two substitute appearances in the Premier League since his move from Anderlecht in the summer, and Arteta was delighted by his contribution in what turned out to be Arsenal’s first draw of the season.
“I think he did really well,” Arteta said of Lokonga. “I think he had one of the best performances from the players on the pitch. He shows a lot of character and all the time good positions.
“I think his defensive work and understanding is getting better. It was a really difficult game because it was all the time one-v-one duels all over the pitch and it’s not the game that really suits him the most, but I think under the circumstances, he did really well.”
Arsenal are back in Premier League action after the international break when they host London rivals Crystal Palace at The Emirates on 18 October.