Man City could be vulnerable this weekend against Arsenal | Football Digest
Arsenal have reignited their interest in Wolves winger Pedro Neto as Mikel Arteta looks to give Bukayo Saka a much-needed rest. The Englishman has limped off the field in his last three appearances for the club having played in almost every single game this season and last.
But Arsenal’s busy schedule appears to finally be catching up with the Hale End hero. Premature departures against Tottenham and Bournemouth were characterised as “knocks” but Arteta insists the injury he picked up against Lens on Wednesday is a “worry”.
“It was big enough not to allow him to continue to play the game and that’s a worry for us,” Arteta said after the game. “It was a knock that he had the other day and he was perfectly fine.
“It was a backheel, an action that can produce that kind of injury. He tried to backheel a ball in the first half and felt something muscular. He felt uncomfortable to carry on so we had to take him off. He hasn’t really missed games. We gave him a break against Brentford [in the Carabao Cup] last week and that was all.”
Saka has played in 87 consecutive Premier League matches for the Gunners. The overreliance on him is certainly worrying while the lack of confidence Arteta has in Reiss Nelson to fill in on the right-hand side is also a concern.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the Gunners are looking to reinforce their flanks. According to talkSPORT, Arsenal are hoping to sign Neto from Wolves in January. The north Londoners have made several attempts to prize him away from Molineaux to no avail in the past.
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Wolves would be reluctant to lose the Portuguese international, who has been outstanding for them so far this season, although their ongoing financial fair play issues mean that a large sum of money could tempt them into letting him go.
Neto has four years of Premier League experience under his belt despite only being 23 years old and is currently enjoying his best start to a season in England’s top flight with one goal and four assists from seven appearances for the Wanderers.
He is also putting up career-high numbers for progressive carries and chances created this season, hitting the top 1 per cent among Premier League widemen in both metrics.
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