Arteta on Saka’s fitness and Martinelli’s benching
We continue to dissect the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Gameweek 24 in our Scout Notes series.
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Bukayo Saka (£8.3m) made it 18 attacking returns in 2022/23 with a goal in Saturday’s six-goal thriller at Villa Park, that’s just two goal contributions short of his best-ever season’s tally.
There were real concerns for his owners early in the second half of that victory, with the winger falling to the turf and signaling to the bench.
Happily, a bit of additional strapping on a first-half injury was all that was required and Saka managed to see through the remainder of the game, his 11th consecutive 90-minute run-out in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta also didn’t seem too concerned when facing the media after full-time.
“He’s fine – he got kicked quite a lot again, but he’s going to have to deal with that, not every week, but every three days. Sometimes in training as well. It’s his game – teams are not stupid and they want to stop him. We need to protect him.” – Mikel Arteta on Bukayo Saka
ARTETA ON MARTINELLI’S BENCHING
A much-feared benching for Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m) finally materialised on Saturday, with the Brazil international dropping out of the starting XI for the first time in 2022/23 and Leandro Trossard (£6.6m) taking his place on the left flank.
While no doubt winded by that initial blow, Martinelli’s owners couldn’t have wished for much better in the ensuing 90 minutes.
Trossard did little to catch the eye before being hooked midway through the second half, with a fresher-looking Martinelli injecting some pep into proceedings and scoring a fortuitous late goal after Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (£4.9m) had ventured forward for a corner with the score at 2-3.
Martinelli’s starting prospects in Double Gameweek 25 may have been boosted then, although it’s safe to assume that both he and Trossard…