Former Arsenal star Theo Walcott has questioned why Mikel Arteta did not substitute Bukayo Saka during Saturday’s 5-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Arsenal news, exclusives and analysis
Saka is Arsenal’s biggest attacking threat and has produced six goals and seven assists across 20 Premier League games this term.
But some have raised concerns over his lack of rest and have suggested that it may be the reason why Saka has suffered a bit of a dip in his performances.
Saturday’s clash at the Emirates would have been the perfect opportunity for Arteta to take off Saka given that the Gunners had a 3-0 lead after 59 minutes.
But Arsenal manager Arteta decided to keep him on the pitch for the full match and used up his five substitutes on other players.
‘As a player now I look at the bigger picture and wonder why Bukayo Saka hasn’t been subbed off yet,’ Walcott told the BBC in the 73rd minute of the game.
‘The sort of player he is, the fact is that he gets kicked all over the pitch most games.
‘Leandro Trossard has just come off, but Saka with all the games he plays is still out there.’
Arsenal launched an official complaint to PGMOL earlier this month amid concerns Saka is not being adequately protected by referees.
The north Londoners believe stronger deterrents should be in place to prevent Saka from being targeted and singled out for particularly rough treatment.