Saka set for switch as Mikel Arteta’s striker preference revealed.
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta is facing an injury crisis that could lead to Bukayo Saka playing at left-back
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka may be set for a switch in Mikel Arteta’s tactical set-up following a number of injuries to key players within the Gunners’ squad.
He could be deployed as a makeshift left-back after Kieran Tierney was ruled out for the season.
Nuno Tavares was deployed in the role but failed to impress during the 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace, leaving Mikel Arteta to consider his options.
And that could lead to him considering Saka in the position after he previously impressed when given a run at left-back in 2020 with both Tierney and Sead Kolasinac injured.
The injury suffered by Thomas Partey at Palace means Granit Xhaka may be more needed in midfield rather than being available to fill in for Tierney – leaving Saka as the obvious candidate if Tavares’ form doesn’t pick up.
Saka at left-back could also provide Arteta with the opportunity to use Pepe.
Pepe has previously spoken out about how he would like to play more for the Gunners and rumours have circulated that he may be looking for an exit from North London at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, the attributes Mikel Arteta wants from a new striker at the Emirates have been revealed by Arsenal youngster Mika Biereth.
The U-23 star has been in fine form this season, netting scoring 11 goals in 24 appearances for the Arsenal second team.
That form has led to him training with the first-team on a number of occasions, and the London-born Denmark youth international has opened up on the coaching he’s had from Arteta.
Biereth told The Athletic : “Mikel Arteta likes the striker to play in the No. 10 pocket, so it’s just about adding those little things.
Becoming comfortable dropping into that space where midfielders open it up for you.” And the statement could give some hint into what the Arsenal boss is searching for ahead of the summer transfer window.