Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka sends message to Unai Emery after ‘dream’ debut

Emery prepared to face Arsenal's centre-back crisis

The return of the Frenchman has boosted Emery's options at the back and the Arsenal manager admits that it is great news that the defender is again fit to play for the team.

His side could be without a single natural centre-back for the game at St. Mary's as Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are both suspended, while Rob Holding is out with a long-term injury.

The 17-year-old was making his full debut having previously made two appearances as a substitute earlier on in the competition, and he came agonisingly close to becoming the Gunners youngest ever European scorer.

That means at least one full-back or midfielder could have to play in central defence, with left-back Nacho Monreal probably the most likely candidate.

"We went through the team and (head coach Unai Emery) called it out and I couldn't believe it, but I just had to get on with it".

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"I think the players are open to listening to us about our new tactical work with our analysis in videos. Lacazette, I think he needs rhythm, and it's not bad for him to play today".

If Koscielny can not start, Emery may have to field a central defensive pairing of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal, two full-backs who have never started a game together in the Premier League.

"Mesut is a player with magical abilities", he said.

"We think so, yes", Emery said. "The doctor said to me he thinks on Saturday he can train and be okay for Sunday".

"When a player is coming back like Koscielny after a big injury - because every big injury can give a player a different moment, a more long time or more short - I think for Koscielny it is good he can recover and I think in good time for his big injury". "Three weeks ago we were playing in Kiev and it was the same, with Emile Smith Rowe and [Joe] Willock, they scored there". When he comes back like today with us, every supporter of Arsenal is happy, and also the player.

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