Why Bukayo Saka is absent from Arsenal's final day title charge

  • Arsenal face Everton on the final day of the Premier League season
  • Gunners need victory to have any chance of beating Man City to the title
  • Star forward Saka left out through injury
Saka misses out
Saka misses out / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka was ruled out of the final day of the season clash with Everton because of a muscle injury.

The Gunners knew anything less than victory would end their pursuit of the title, with victory at the Emirates Stadium not even guaranteed to be enough if Manchester City were to emerge victorious against West Ham United.

Throughout most of the 2023/24 campaign, Saka had been the leading light for Mikel Arteta's side, putting in immaculate performance after immaculate performance on the right wing. In 35 games, he contributed 16 goals and nine assists - the highest goal return of his young career to date.

But when the teams were announced on social media, Saka's omission was the big story that sent social media into a frenzy.

"Unfortunately he picked up a small muscle injury in training and he wasn't available to play," Arteta told Sky Sports when asked about Saka's absence. "Fortunately, we have some great players and Martinelli steps in and we need to win anyway."

Martinelli started in attack alongside Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard, with the Brazilian earning his first start since the 6-0 win over Sheffield United on March 4, and there was some positive news elsewhere for Arsenal as Jurrien Timber returned to the squad.

The Dutchman had been rehabilitating a long-term knee injury picked up on the opening day of the Premier League season, when the Gunners beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 at the Emirates - a game Saka scored in.