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Saka replacement spotted in Arsenal training

Stuart Telford
Bukayo Saka, Arsenal, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Bukayo Saka has returned to Arsenal from England duty with a muscular injury, and with Manchester City up next for the Gunners, his likely replacement has been spotted in training.

Saka has become Arsenal’s talisman since breaking into the first team two seasons ago, and this year is their most potent attacking asset once again, with 13 goals and eight assists in the Premier League.

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Only William Saliba and Declan Rice have racked up more minutes this season, and a bit of wear and tear meant that Saka sat out of England’s 1-0 loss to Brazil at Wembley on Saturday, instead returning to his club.

READ MORE: Latest Arsenal transfer rumours

Whilst Arsenal are in the market for a new final third operator – Real Madrid’s Brahim Diaz and Morgan Gibbs-White of Nottingham Forest have both been linked in recent days – Mikel Arteta has a Plan B should Saka be missing for the City game.

Fabio Vieira is yet to fulfil his potential at Arsenal...
© FootballTransfers.com – Fabio Vieira is yet to fulfil his potential at Arsenal…

Fabio Vieira ‘the one shining’

Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus could both be deployed,” Football.London’s Kieran Horn observed in recent Arsenal training.

“But Fabio Vieira was the one shining in the latest sessions with two delightful goals curled in using his left-foot after cutting inside from the right, exactly as Saka would do.”

READ MORE: Arsenal’s 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Saka could yet feature against City, and Arsenal beat them earlier in the season without their star player, who is valued at €105.2 million by FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm.

Vieira, namesake of the great Arsenal captain Patrick, joined the Gunners from Porto for €35m in the summer of 2022. Most of his 47 appearances since have come from a deeper, more central position, than where Saka normally plays.

With Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard both preferring to play on the left flank, Vieira could get a rare start on the right next Sunday – provided Saka doesn’t shake off his latest setback as quickly as expected.

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