Thierry Henry has sent a blunt message to three Arsenal players

4 October 2023 - 8:08 am

Thierry Henry has called on Bukayo Saka’s understudies to step up in the likely absence on the Arsenal winger who is a major doubt for Sunday’s Premier League showdown against Manchester City.

The Gunners surrendered their unbeaten start to the new season last night as Lens came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory that has blown Champions League Group B wide open.

Defeat was compounded by an injury to Saka who was forced off in the 34th minute and replaced by the largely ineffectual Fabio Vieira.

Arsenal struggled to create opportunities without their main creative spark until the latter stages when the home side sat deep in their ultimately successful attempt to see out the victory.

Asked for a prognosis on Saka and the chances of him featuring against the champions this weekend, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: ‘He tried to backheel the ball in the first-half and felt something, it was something muscular and he was uncomfortable to carry on so we had to take him off.

‘We don’t know anything more than that, obviously it was big enough not to allow him to continue to play the game and that’s obviously a worry for us.’

Saka’s injury is almost certain to end his astonishing record of having started 87 consecutive Premier League games and Henry believes it is the responsibility of three players to fill the void.

Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer told CBS Sports: ‘You can lose but also it looks like you might have lost Bukayo Saka.

‘People were talking about Rodri not playing at the weekend now suddenly you don’t have the main man at Arsenal in my opinion playing against Man City at the weekend. We’re not going too far, but it looks like it.

‘It’s going to be the job of an Eddie Nketiah, a Trossard or the job of a Kai Havertz who came to show that we’re not going to think about Bukayo if he’s not playing at the weekend.

‘The only thing you can say about Bukayo is he’s been playing everything and at some point you are going to hit the wall and it’s going to be too much.

‘I don’t know what happened tonight but obviously he is going to be missed. How long it will be I don’t know, but we need to find a way to beat City because we haven’t done that for a very long time in the league.’