Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta is facing an injury crisis that could see Bukayo Saka playing at left-back, while the qualities he looks for in a forward have been revealed
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Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka could be poised for a change in Mikel Arteta’s tactical setup following a series of injuries to key players in the Gunners’ squad.
Left-back Kieran Tierney will need surgery for a knee injury that will rule him out for the remainder of the season. But Nuno Tavares did little to cover himself in glory in the 3-0 slump crystal palace at Selhurst Park on Monday night – the Arsenal boss is questioning his options on the left side of his defence.
Tierney is far from the only Arsenal star struggling with injuries at the moment and updates have been released on the fitness of Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe and Takehiro Tomiasyu. And the qualities Mikel Arteta is looking for in a new striker this summer have been revealed by a young Gunners star.
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Arsenal have a growing injury list First League season reaches its peak. With Tottenham Hotspur, who overtook the Gunners in the table before Mikel Arteta’s side lost at Crystal Palace on Sunday, the injuries could not have come at a worse time.
Kieran Tierney has been ruled out for the season while Thomas Partey injured his thigh during the defeat at Selhurst Park – forcing him off in the 74th minute. Takehiro Tomiyasu also looks set to remain on the sidelines for a while while Nicolas Pepe is currently recovering from an illness that left him out of the squad for Monday’s defeat at Crystal Palace.
Arteta’s forward preference
The qualities Mikel Arteta expects in a new striker at the Emirates have been revealed by Arsenal youngster Mika Biereth.
The U-23 star has been in fine form this season, scoring 11 goals in 24 games for Arsenal’s second team. That form has seen him train with the first team on several occasions and the London-born Denmark youth international has opened up to Arteta’s coaching.
Biereth tells the athlete : “Mikel Arteta likes the striker playing in the No 10 pocket, so it’s just about adding those little things. Feeling comfortable falling into that space where midfielders open it up for you.” And the statement could provide a clue as to what the Arsenal boss is looking for ahead of the summer transfer window.
Saka set for switches
Bukayo Saka could be brought on as a makeshift left-back after Kieran Tierney was ruled out for the season.
Nuno Tavares was cast in the role but failed to impress in the 3-0 defeat by Crystal Palace, leaving Mikel Arteta to assess his options. And that could see him considering Saka in the position, having previously impressed running at left-back in 2020 with injured Tierney and Sead Kolasinac.
Thomas Partey’s injury at Palace means Granit Xhaka may be needed in midfield rather than being available for Tierney – leaving Saka as an obvious candidate unless Tavares’ form improves.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-news-bukayo-saka-arteta-26662023 Arsenal news: Bukayo Saka wants a move, Mikel Arteta's forward preference revealed