Winger Bukayo Saka wasn’t included in Arsenal’s Europa League list for Thursday’s trip but could still feature in the game due to a UEFA provision.
THE LOWDOWN: SLOW START TO THE SEASON
Bukayo Saka turned 21 on Monday and has been one of the important players in Mikel Arteta’s side since his breakthrough season in the 2019/20 campaign.
The Academy graduate, who played in every Premier League game for Arsenal last season, has also started every league game this term. He has been able to score a goal and has provided two assists in his six appearances so far.
He opened his goal account in the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday and would have his sights set on Arsenal’s first Europa League game in Zurich on Thursday.
THE LATEST: SAKA’S EXCLUSION EXPLAINED
As revealed on the official UEFA website, Saka isn’t listed for Arsenal’s match with Zurich, and he is the only notable absentee.
Despite his omission from Arsenal’s main squad for the UEFA Europa League, Bukayo Saka can still feature in the Gunners’ first group game in Zurich on Thursday.
Although the 21-year-old is the first team’s only option on the right wing, the youngster can be included on a so-called “B list” which allows younger players to join the squad and be of use to them without taking up a squad place.
Having been active from the start of the campaign, it remains to be seen exactly what part Saka will play, especially given his workload and the lack of options on the right this season.
THE VERDICT: DOESN’T NEED TO FEATURE
He is Mikel Arteta’s first and only choice at right wing at the moment. It will be unwise to play him in this Europa League opener. Another option in Marquinhos, who was listed on the bench at the weekend against Manchester United, could be given his first team debut.
In addition, it is a chance for the manager to tweak his side a bit ahead of the visit of Everton on Sunday.