Arsenal’s rising star, Bukayo Saka, is grappling with a persistent Achilles injury that has been haunting him since the previous season, casting doubts over his availability for the upcoming showdown against Everton this weekend.
The 22-year-old has seamlessly transitioned his impressive form from the last season into the current campaign, tallying two goals and an assist in his first four matches.
Such stellar performances earned him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for matches against Ukraine and Scotland during the international break.
However, concerns about his Achilles resurfaced when he was benched for the entirety of the 150th-anniversary heritage match against Scotland after playing 85 minutes against Ukraine.
Recent reports have confirmed that Saka is still grappling with the Achilles issue, a cause for anxiety among fans and the Arsenal management.
Manager Mikel Arteta is undoubtedly eager to have his star player in optimal condition for the entire season, and Southgate’s decision to rest Saka may be seen as a strategic move to facilitate his recovery ahead of the weekend clash.
Arsenal has already been hit by injuries, with summer signing Jurrien Timber and key midfield and defensive player Thomas Partey sidelined.
Saka’s absence, whether short or prolonged, would further exacerbate the team’s predicament.
In the event of Saka’s unavailability, Arsenal has a promising alternative in Leandro Trossard.
Despite limited playing time this season, Trossard boasts an impressive track record.
He contributed significantly to Arsenal’s title chase last season, registering 10 crucial assists in 20 league appearances, just one less than Saka, despite playing considerably fewer minutes.
Trossard also outperformed Saka in several key metrics last season, demonstrating his proficiency as a playmaker.
His passing accuracy and Goal-Creating Actions per 90 minutes were superior to Saka’s, further highlighting his potential to fill the void left by the English winger.
Though Trossard has yet to score in the current league season, his recent goal for Belgium and his past heroics in the Community Shield suggest he is more than capable of stepping up if Saka is sidelined for an extended period.
As Arsenal prepares to face Everton, Trossard may find himself in the spotlight, poised to make his 11th start as a Gunner and potentially become Saka’s temporary replacement.
In conclusion, Bukayo Saka’s recurring Achilles injury has raised concerns about his availability for Arsenal’s upcoming match against Everton, but Leandro Trossard stands ready to step in and contribute significantly if needed, based on his previous performances and playmaking abilities.