Journalist Charles Watts has been felt angered by the number of fouls made on Arsenal star Bukayo Saka that were not spotted by the referee this weekend.

What’s the latest on Bukayo Saka and AFC?

In their latest Premier League outings, the Gunners came back from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 4-2 away from home in dramatic fashion.

Indeed, two late efforts saw Mikel Arteta’s side pick up all three points in the game and Saka played his part, netting the first of Arsenal’s four goals.

However, the winger was on the end of some rough treatment being fouled three times (more than any Villa player) though he also got booked too.

While speaking on YouTube after the game, Watts couldn’t believe that the referee only called three fouls in the game, despite Saka getting “destroyed” by the opposition with their poor tackling.

He explained (2:48): “Bukayo Saka got absolutely destroyed at Villa Park by the Villa players on Saturday.
“The maddest thing was that I looked at the end of the game to see how many times he’d been fouled. And I honestly thought it was going to be eight or nine times. It was three, he got three freekicks given for all the treatment he received against Aston Villa.
“He even got booked because he reacted to one of the challenges now this is something we are seeing every single week. And Bukayo Saka was hurt on the weekend. I mean, I was convinced he was going have to come off at one point, he could barely put any weight on his ankle.
“It’s no surprise with the treatment he’s getting. And it happens every single week. And it has to be a big, big concern.”

What do the fouls on Saka mean for Arsenal?

At the moment, Saka’s durability has been one of his biggest assets. After all, he has managed to start every Premier League game so far this season.

Seeing as he has netted nine goals and provided eight assists in this time, it’s safe to say he’s been pivotal to the title charge too. However, if he keeps getting kicked about, he may soon pick up an injury.

This isn’t a recent issue too. Last season, according to fBref (via Arseblog) Saka was fouled 59 times. The next closest was Gabriel Magalhaes with 38, then Alexandre Lacazette with 29 – so you can see how opposition teams target the winger to try and stop him.

This term, Saka has been fouled 40 times and has made 26 of his own, getting booked five times (via fBref). Seeing as he is an attacking player, you’d think the margin between how many fouls he’s suffered and how many he has made would be much greater.

What’s more, in comparison, other exciting wingers like Kylian Mbappe and Marcus Rashford have been fouled 21 and 16 times respectively.

Clearly, the Arsenal ace is getting kicked around the pitch and this will certainly be a major concern for Arteta if these poor challenges keep on going unpunished.


Arsenal latest news: Arsenal's Saka fears | Zinchenko's comments | Villa reaction | Selling Tavares

I discuss the latest Arsenal news, looking at what Mikel Arteta and Oleksandr Zinchenko had to say about Bukayo Saka after yet another game when he was targeted by opposition players. I also reflect on the win and Aston Villa and look at the form of Nuno Tavares during his loan spell at Marseille.
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