Mikel Arteta provides Bukayo Saka injury update ahead of West Brom vs Arsenal

Bukayo Saka was forced off with an ankle injury during Arsenal's win over Brighton on Tuesday
Bukayo Saka was forced off with an ankle injury during Arsenal’s win over Brighton on Tuesday (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta is optimistic Bukayo Saka will be fit for Arsenal’s Premier League match against West Brom on Saturday after the increasingly influential winger picked up an ankle injury in the win over Brighton earlier this week.

The England international created the winning goal for Alexandre Lacazette and was awarded the man-of-the-match award for another eye-catching display.

Saka’s involvement in the game was ended prematurely, however, when he landed awkwardly on his ankle and was replaced by Dani Ceballos with nine minutes remaining.

The Gunners travel to the Hawthorns this weekend, looking to record a third consecutive victory and Arteta is hopeful he will be able to count on the services of his teenage superstar.

He said: ‘I hope he is available we will see today with training or not. He’s played a lot of minutes as well, and I’m confident that he will be OK for the game.’

Emile Smith Rowe has started Arsenal's last two Premier League matches
Emile Smith Rowe has started Arsenal’s last two Premier League matches (Picture: Getty)

After slipping dangerously close to the relegation zone following a calamitous run of results, Arsenal are now looking up the table following back-to-back victories.

A return to winning ways has coincided with Arteta placing his faith in youngsters Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Saka. Arsenal have another clutch of academy graduates champing at the bit but the Gunners boss has guarded against placing too much expectation on such an inexperienced core.

‘We know that our club has a history of bringing players through the academy and it’s in our DNA,’ he said.

‘We want to keep doing it and I think I’ve done it since the day I came through that door. But they need the right process, they need the right players around them and you have to respect the timing of their development.

‘There is nothing worse than rushing those players when they are not ready. If they are ready and they respond, then keep doing it.

‘You don’t have to hold them back because you know their energy, their passion and what they want to do. They can run and sprint and do whatever they want, but they need [experienced players] as well.

‘Eleven kids is impossible. When you have the right mixture then these kids start to become more senior players and they start to have a little bit more experience and they are in a good development phase, let’s go for it. But you have to be cautious as well.

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