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Arteta updates on Saka’s fitness ahead of Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Bukayo Saka - Arsenal
© Arsenal FC

The Gunners starlet was on the receiving end of a severe challenge that had brought an early end to his evening on Monday.

Mikel Arteta has failed to provide any assurances over Bukayo Saka’s availability for Arsenal’s match against Aston Villa on Friday.

Saka was kicked on the back of the calf by James McArthur during Arsenal’s 2-2 Premier League draw against Crystal Palace. Despite receiving treatment on the pitch, he couldn’t continue and was subbed off at half-time.

The England international has been one of the most reliable performers for his side this season, having featured in all eight of their league games so far.

“He hasn’t trained yet so we have to assess today and see how he is,” Arteta told about Saka’s fitness in his pre-match press conference (via football.london).

Asked if he was a ‘betting man’ whether he’d expected Saka to be available against Aston Villa, Arteta responded (via Metro): “I am not a betting man, and it’s down to the doctors and himself to see how he recovers and how he’s feeling between today and tomorrow.”

Arteta was unhappy with the referee’s decision to only book McArthur for his reckless challenge as well as the lack of VAR intervention.

Asked if he got an explanation for that decision, the Spaniard said: “No. We had communications with the referees and the association to explain why they didn’t intervene in that action.

“When there is an obvious error they have to take action and they didn’t. For me that’s not acceptable.”