EPL:Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka ‘Carrying Achilles Injury Since Last Season’

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By Sedara Philip

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has allegedly been nursing an Achilles injury since the end of the 2023-24 season.

The 22-year-old has risen from an academy product to one of the first names on Mikel Arteta’s teamsheet in just a couple of years, already racking up 184 appearances for the Gunners.

Saka has come up with 40 goals and 42 assists for his boyhood club in that time, and he was one of only two players to hit double figures in the Premier League for goals and assists last term alongside Mohamed Salah.

The England international did not miss a single top-flight game last term – starting 37 of them and making one substitute appearance against Leeds United – and he has made the first XI in all five of the Gunners’ matches so far in 2023-24.

Owing to Arteta’s trust in him, Saka now holds the all-time Arsenal record for consecutive Premier League appearances, playing in 84 games on the bounce to dethrone Paul Merson, who featured in 82 successive matches between 1995 and 1997.

The Hale End graduate has also become a stalwart for England manager Gareth Southgate, who named him in the starting lineup for their recent 1-1 draw with Ukraine in Euro 2024 qualifying, where Saka was unsurprisingly on the end of some rough treatment.

To the delight of Arsenal fans, Saka dropped to the bench when England met Scotland in Tuesday’s 150th Anniversary Heritage match, although he did win his 30th cap as a substitute in the final 20 minutes.

The 22-year-old has only missed a handful of matches for club and country so far in his career, but according to the Daily Mail, he has been dealing with a troublesome Achilles issue for a number of months.

The issue has not been severe enough to rule Saka out for an extended period of time, but Arteta may take a more cautious approach over his fitness as Arsenal commence a hectic period of autumnal fixtures.

Following Sunday’s Premier League showdown against Everton, the North London giants return to the Champions League at home to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, four days before hosting Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby.

Arsenal failed to bring in a new right-winger over the summer and terminated the contract of former record signing Nicolas Pepe, as well as loaning Marquinhos out to Nantes.

However, Reiss Nelson committed his future to the Gunners for another four years with an option until 2028, while Fabio Vieira is also capable of filling in on the right-hand side.

While Saka is not expected to spend any time in the infirmary, Arteta is still working around the absences of Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey, the former of whom will spend months recuperating from an ACL problem.

Meanwhile, Partey will likely be missing for another few weeks owing to a groin strain, but Arsenal were handed a boost over the fitness of Gabriel Magalhaes during the international break.

The centre-back could not complete the full 90 on his Brazil debut against Bolivia, but he played every minute of the Selecao’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Peru four days later.

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