Arsenal's Bukayo Saka applauds fans at the Emirates Stadium.

Comparing Arsenal’s record with and without Bukayo Saka in the Mikel Arteta era

Arsenal may have to live without talismanic forward Bukayo Saka during their Premier League clash against Manchester City at the Emirates. 

Saka made his senior debut under Unia Emery in November 2018 but has gone from strength to strength under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta.

The 22-year-old has been Arsenal’s standout performer in recent years, winning their Player of the Year award in both 2020-21 and 2021-22.

He won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2022/23 and was named in the PFA Team of the Year after helping the Gunners finish second in the Premier League.

But Arsenal have become very reliant on their academy graduate and some pundits argue that he has been overused by Arteta.

The England international has appeared in Arsenal’s last 87 Premier League games consecutively, a club record which dates back to May 2021.

Despite being withdrawn with injury concerns in recent games against Tottenham and Bournemouth, he was deemed fit enough to start against Lens in the Champions League.

Saka set up Gabriel Jesus’ goal in the 2-1 defeat but picked up another injury and had to be replaced by Fabio Vieira in the 34th minute.

The winger is now a major doubt for their upcoming game against Manchester City, who are currently one point above Arsenal in the Premier League table.

“No, it was a knock that he had the other day,” Arteta said when asked whether he regretted picking Saka against Lens.

“He was perfectly fine. It was an action, a backheel, that can produce that type of injury. Let’s see what the extent of it is. He tried to backheel a ball in the first half and he felt something. It was something muscular. He was uncomfortable and we had to take him off.

“We don’t know anything more than that. Obviously, it was big enough not to allow him to continue to play the game and that is obviously a worry for us. I have no clue, [about the weekend], I don’t know.”

We’ve looked at Arsenal’s record with and without Saka in the starting XI since Arteta took over at the Emirates in December 2019. Note: stats are taken from all competitions.

Also, in games where Saka was subbed on during the first half, we’ve included that fixture in the ‘with Saka’ section and vice versa.

With Saka

Played: 152
Won: 86
Drawn: 29
Lost: 37

Goals for: 267
Goals per game: 1.75
Goals against: 159
Goals against per game: 1.04

Points per game: 1.88
Win rate: 55.92%
Loss rate: 24.34%

Without Saka

Played: 39
Won: 24
Drawn: 4
Lost: 11

Goals for: 74
Goals per game: 1.89
Goals against: 39
Goals against per game: 1.0

Points per game: 1.94
Win rate: 61.54%
Loss rate: 28.21%

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