Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said that Bukayo Saka was really looking forward to play against Lens in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Englishman picked up a knock during the 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, but managed to recover in time for the trip to north France.
Saka helped the Gunners open the scoring with an assist for Gabriel Jesus, but he was soon after substituted after an injury from a backheel.
Lens went on to win the game by a 2-1 scoreline. Elye Wahi made the difference for them with a goal and an assist. He was brilliant leading the line.
Speaking after the game, Arteta praised the mentality of Saka and added that the club graduate was really looking forward to facing the French side.
He told Arsenal.com: “He was really looking forward to play. Every player (was). It was a big Champions League night.”
“I told him I painted a picture, the scenario, the type of game we are going to have to face today and they all knew about it.
“But the Champions League is so difficult to win, very difficult to win away from home and today we take a big lesson as well.”
Saka has picked up several knocks during the early phase of the campaign, but Arteta seemed to be worried during the post-match press conference yesterday.
The 22-year-old picked up a muscular injury in the opening half. He now faces a race against time to make the squad for Sunday’s vital Premier League game.
The Gunners are currently one point behind leaders Manchester City. They host the Cityzens at the Emirates Stadium and Saka’s absence would be a huge blow.
The club are already without Gabriel Martinelli with a hamstring issue. They face a huge task on their hands against City, who have won the last 12 league meetings.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com