Arsenal fans cheered Bukayo Saka replacing Sead Kolasinac against Everton

Arsenal beat Everton 3-2 on Sunday in a hard-fought battle at the Emirates, however, a first-half injury saw Sead Kolasinac replaced by youngster Bukayo Saka, with some sections of the stadium cheering the move.

Kolasinac suffered a shoulder injury after 18 minutes and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was forced into an early substitution to bring Saka off the bench.

At this point in the game the Gunners were already a goal down, after Toffees’ striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin had scored with an overhead kick after just 49 seconds.

However, Saka played a role in helping his team get back into the game, when his pin-point cross was put away by Eddie Nketiah in the 27th minute.

After the final whistle Sky Sports pundit Garry Neville was full of praise for the youngster’s contribution, while also questioning some sections of the club’s fans base for their reaction to Kolasinac’s substitution.

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“[Alex] Iwobi goes to sleep a little bit but he doesn’t do too much wrong. But that cross, wow,” Neville said.

“There is not a lot a defender can do about that and neither can the goalkeeper.

“The quality of the cross was absolutely outstanding. All you want is your striker in that position and he [Nketiah] is. He gets a good contact on it.


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“It’s harsh to suggest that Arsenal fans were happy that Sead Kolasinac went off but there was a bit of a cheer.

“What a cross from Saka. I was having a mundane chat because I thought nothing was on.”

Kolasinac has struggled with injuries this season, which is one of the reasons Saka has been given an extended run in the team as an emergency left-back.

The 18-year-old’s main position is a left-midfielder but he has adapted his game because of the Gunners injury crisis at the back.

And while the youngster is having a great season for the Gunners, with three goals and nine assists this season, boss Mikel Arteta is looking to keep the player grounded as he hopes to help his talented prospect develop.


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“With Kola he’s been very unlucky with injuries, Bukayo had some issues as well before the game but then he started to play after a few minutes,” Arteta said.

“It was a great contribution offensively but as well there are other moments when he showed today that there is still a lot of margin for him for improvement.

“And he needs to keep his feet on the ground and we have to help him to do that.”

Arsenal will now host Olympiacos at the Emirates on Thursday, in the second-leg of their Europa League clash with the Greek team.

And Saka might be in contention to start the game because of Kolasinac’s injury.

When the Gunners boss was asked for an update on the condition of the left-back after the game, Arteta said: “I don’t know, it looked bad.

“He was in a lot of pain so we will assess him [on Monday] and see how he is.”

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