Arsenal legend Martin Keown has presented what he calls a “radical” solution to Arsenal’s new injury crisis, which revolves around key striker Bukayo Saka.
Mikel Arteta knows all about the dreaded injury ‘double whammy’, but they’re rarely much worse than losing guaranteed starters Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey for the rest of the season.
Arsenal looked to have finally killed off the competition in the hunt for a top four finish, but injuries and poor results prompted rivals Tottenham to return, ahead on goal difference but with one game more played.
The Gunners rode a five-game winning streak before losing to Liverpool, but quickly bounced back to beat Aston Villa 1-0 and regain their momentum.
However, a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace last time out saw Spurs close, and things have only gotten worse since.
Two of Arteta’s starting XI will be unavailable for the most crucial clashes, with Tierney out until next season after knee surgery, while Partey will struggle to come back in time with a back injury. thigh.
Tierney’s absence presents Arteta with a huge challenge. His only natural replacement at left-back, Nuno Tavares, was replaced early by the Spaniard in his previous two appearances.
Central midfielder Granit Xhaka has been offered as a full-back replacement as Tavares comes under fire, but former Arsenal defender Keown has suggested a third option.
The story behind Jota’s name change and why he was known as ‘Silva’ at Wolves
Gerrard in the stands to watch 20-year-old PSV star but Villa must fight to sign him
Karius hit the gym as Liverpool keeper shows bulkier frame
Payet scores contender of the season goal but furious fan faces victory
Man United were convinced signing Leeds hero was right after showing ‘desire to play’
The referee who ‘assaulted’ West Ham was involved in match-fixing and criticized by stars
Speaking on talkSPORT, Keown said: “We need to find a solution at Arsenal to the left-back problem, I would like to see Saka move to left-back.
“I know it’s drastic, but I’d rather see that than Xhaka there, who’s going to be exposed, if you create such a weakness in the team then you have to fill it.
“I think Saka could go to left-back and still do damage from the left, [Nicolas] Pepe back on the right side, [Gabriel] Martinelli on the left.
“It’s about the best eleven, but if you have a problem with a player so much that everything goes down that side and mistakes are made and you don’t believe in the player, then you can’t not play it..
“So I would say ‘OK we’re not going to play Tavares’ but I don’t think Xhaka is the answer, he certainly isn’t, they would create teams to exploit that weakness, it’s going to win” He doesn’t It won’t be long before Xhaka leaves the pitch and Arsenal are down to 10 men again. Play Saka there.
Saka, 20, an academy graduate, has been Arsenal’s most productive player this season with 10 goals and five assists in all competitions, but he has experience as a defender.
The England international’s early career saw him impress at both left-back and left-back, and while Arsenal would lose their attacking threat up front, it could help shore things up. the back.
And if Arteta chooses to take the Keown route and bring Saka back to where it all began, that’s how the Gunners could settle into their quest for a glorious Champions League return.
Betting offer of the day
Bet365: Bet £10 Today Get £50 Grand National Free Bets – CLAIM HERE
888Sport: Bet £10, Get £30 + £10 Casino Bonus – CLAIM HERE
Bet365: account opening offer. Bet €10 and get €50 free bets for new customers at bet365. Minimum deposit requirement. Free bets are paid out as bet credits and can be used when settling qualifying bets. Minimum odds, betting and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude wagering bet credits. Deadlines and terms and conditions apply 18+ Begambleaware.org
888sport: New customers only. Minimum deposit of £10 • A qualifying bet is a “real money” wager of at least £10 • Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets are credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/associated winnings, wager x40 bonus amount within 14 days • Casino bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions and full terms and conditions apply 18+ begambleaware.org