Explained: Why Bukayo Saka was BENCHED by Arsenal for first time in 485 days in the Premier League

Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23Getty Images
  • Saka has scored 12 Premier League goals this season
  • Was named PL player of the month for March
  • Jesus has gone 14 games without a goal for Arsenal

WHAT HAPPENED? Saka, who felt unwell on Friday and missed training, has been left out of a Premier League starting XI for the first time since Arsenal's 3-2 defeat at Manchester United in December, 2021.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arteta has decided to at least put the 21-year-old on the bench for Saturday's crucial contest, which will see Arsenal bidding to restore their eight-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the table.

The hosts have been boosted by the return of Jesus, however, who has been handed his first Premier League start since the win at Wolves in November.

WHAT THEY SAID?: Speaking ahead of kick-off against Leeds, Arteta explained Saka's absence: "He wasn’t able to train yesterday as he wasn’t well but today he feels a little bit better, so we’ve put Gabby [Jesus] in. He brings a lot of energy, quality, movement & chaos. He’s a player we’ve been missing and it’s good to have him back."