While Saka’s departure raised concerns on Saturday, Arsenal have been significantly boosted by the impact of his replacement.
Within a minute of entering the action, Gabriel Martinelli latched on to Takehiro Tomiyasu’s floated ball over his shoulder before guiding a sumptuous volley into the back of the net for the Gunners’ second.
Should Saka miss the Old Trafford trip through injury, his Brazilian teammate could receive another opportunity to make his mark and rediscover the form that has been evading him during a recently indifferent run.
“It is a big moment for him,” Arteta admitted. “Because how he behaves, some players are respectful when you make some decisions, and some are very respectful and patient, but at the same time, he’s really pushing and challenging.
“It makes it harder because he deserves more, but hopefully he can push forward from here.”