Mikel Arteta is hopeful Bukayo Saka’s place has not been put at risk by the injury he suffered yesterday as he praised Reiss Nelson’s superb display in an emphatic 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
The Gunners moved back to the top of the Premier League and left the visitors rooted to the foot of the table.
England forward Saka took a knock in the first minute but still teed up Gabriel Martinelli to break the deadlock at the Emirates Stadium.
He limped off just before the half-hour and while the sight will have worried Arsenal and England fans alike, Arteta does not believe it is a serious injury.
‘Hopefully not,’ the Arsenal manager said. ‘It was a bad kick. Right from the beginning he was limping but I don’t see any further than that. Let’s see how he is in the next couple of days.’
Saka was replaced by Nelson, who scored twice in three minutes before assisting Thomas Partey with captain Martin Odegaard wrapping up the win. Nelson had not scored a top-flight goal in 837 days and this was the 22-year-old’s first league appearance since the opening day of last season. Arteta was delighted with the winger’s impact.
‘I think not only me but all his team-mates, all the staff are so happy for him because he is a kid that is really changing, he’s really evolving, he’s really maturing,’ Arteta added.
‘He’s showing every day how much he wants it and today he had the opportunity and he did extremely well. He is a joy of a kid. We all want him to be successful and do well.’
Forest were outplayed as they failed to build on last week’s shock 1-0 win over Liverpool and boss Steve Cooper wants his players to learn from their thrashing.
‘We don’t just have to take that on the chin – we have to deal with it,’ he said. ‘We fell way short in terms of competing. It ended up as painful viewing. We’ve got to stand up now and challenge each other on how we fell well short.’
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