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Arteta Contemplates Giving Saka Some Rest

Arteta Contemplates Giving Saka Some Rest

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits it would be ideal to be able to rest Bukayo Saka in the coming weeks but warned his players not to complain about fatigue.

Saka has played but all one minute of Arsenal’s six February fixtures and has scored five goals since Boxing Day.

The 19-year-old laid on both of Aubameyang’s goals as the Gunners beat Benfica 3-2 on Thursday night to set up a Europa League round of 16 clash with Olympiacos.

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Arteta has been asked several times about Saka’s contribution of late but has now conceded he may have to hand the academy graduate a breather.

“At some point, ideally, yes,” he replied when asked if it was inevitable that Saka will have to be given a rest.

“On Thursday night at some stages in the game we were thinking about that because you can see it.

“It is not only him, there are a lot of players who have played so many minutes, you could see the Benfica players and you could sense the fatigue and the changes they had to do straight away.

“But obviously when things go well the energy that creates sometimes overcomes fatigue and I prefer not to talk too much about fatigue.”

It remains to be seen if Saka’s break will come when Arsenal travel to face high-flying Leicester on Sunday – with the visitors looking to improve on their lowly 11th place.

Arteta has called on his squad to give the team everything they can until they are “absolutely done”, insisting fatigue cannot be used as an excuse.

“If we have to rest players we have to rest them because we have to keep them fit as much as possible,” he added.

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