Arsenal fans worried key player might get 'damaged' as he starts against Sporting CP

Arsenal fans are growing frustrated with the lack of rest Bukayo Saka is being afforded as he starts in the side’s encounter with Sporting CP. The Gunners head to the Estadio Jose Alvalade to face the Primeira Liga side in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 clash.

Saka has been chosen in Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup, much to the frustration of fans. The English attacker has been in superb form this season, scoring 11 goals and providing nine assists in 34 games across competitions.

However, Saka is seemingly not being afforded any rest as he has clocked 2,656 minutes of action so far with the Gunners this term. He was also part of the England squad that made it to the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the end of last year,

Arteta clearly doesn’t want Saka to lose momentum amid his brilliant run of form. However, with Arsenal challenging for the title, it is understandable that fans are wanting a rest for their protagonist.

Meanwhile, the Gunners boss has selected Matt Turner in goal, who does allow first-choice Aaron Ramsdale to rest. Ben White, William Saliba, Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko are in defense. Kiwior is handed his debut by Arteta after joining the club in January.

Jorginho is chosen in midfield along with Fabio Vieira and Granit Xhaka. Arsenal’s hero from last weekend’s 3-2 comeback win over Bournemouth, Reiss Nelson, is in attack. He joins Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in a fierce frontline.

Yet, Gunners fans are bemused by Saka not being rested. One fan thinks he should have been left back at home in north London:

“What a disgrace. One day Arteta will eventually grow out of this cowardice. Saka should be at home ffs.”

Another fan shared those sentiments, wanting the English winger to have taken the night off:

“Saka should have been given the night off.”

One Gunners supporter is worried about Saka and Martinelli getting injured:

“No Tomi? Lets hope Saka and Gabby don’t get damaged.”

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Arteta’s questionable decision to start Saka against Sporting CP:

Arsenal’s Martinelli gives positive update on Saka’s contract situation

Martinelli (right) hints that Saka (left) is close to an extension.
Martinelli (right) hints that Saka (left) is close to an extension.

Saka seems close to reaching a full agreement over a contract extension with Arsenal. His current deal expires in 2024 and he has been in talks over a renewal. His Gunners teammate Martinelli was asked about the English winger’s situation. He gave a confident response:

“He will stay for sure. He loves the club.”

The young forward has been at the Emirates his entire career, making his debut in 2018 aged 17. He has since gone on to score 34 goals and provide 38 assists in 165 appearances.

Arsenal will be eager to seal an extension for Saka, with Manchester City known as admirers. He seems to be loving life in north London with the Gunners.

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