Bukayo Saka tells Mikel Arteta he is ready to play 70 games this season after easing fitness concerns
He believes he can play 70 games for the club this season.
Saka has been a mainstay for Arsenal since his introduction into the first team in 2021 but has found himself affected by the north London club’s relentless schedule with injuries taking their toll on the winger.
The 22-year-old missed out on his side’s 1-0 win against Manchester City earlier in October due to an injury he sustained in their Champions League game against Lens and later had to withdraw from international duty.
He has since returned to the starting lineup for the Gunners’ last three games – notching up his third league assist of the season in their 5-0 win over Sheffield United last weekend – and has rejected any suggestions over his long-term fitness after he was withdrawn after 72 minutes on Saturday.
‘I’m really focused on the next coming games and what I can do for the team,’ he said after the win against the Blades.
‘My focus is not really that [on any potential fitness burnout]. I always want to be on the pitch, to give my best, and if I’m injured and I have to be forced to be out, then, of course, I will sit out.
‘But as long I’m there and I’m ready to play, I am always going to give my best and tell them that I want to play.’
Prior to missing the game against City, Saka had started a record-breaking 87 successive league games.
Given Arsenal’s lack of depth on the right wing, Saka has been a mainstay in Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup over the past few seasons, a trend that looks set to continue as his side compete on numerous fronts.
But Saka said he relishes the challenge and is willing to answer his manager’s call for the winger to play 70 games this season.
‘I think it’s possible. When you look at the top players, they are there every three days and they are winning games for their team,’ he added.
‘So I’m trying to be at that level, and to obviously be at that level I need to push myself. Of course, it’s difficult, but I’m trying to do it and give it my best.’
Arsenal face another quick turnaround following their weekend victory as they travel to face West Ham in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.