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Arsenal player who hasn’t started a game all season could play against Luton Town

Mikel Arteta has hinted at the possibility of giving game time to Arsenal player who hasn’t started a game in the Premier League against Luton

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Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has highlighted the significant impact of one squad player while challenging individual players to make big contributions even with limited playing time.

Arsenal are in the hunt for the Premier League title with nine games remaining, and Arteta is facing the challenge of balancing his talented squad while maintaining consistency in team selection. Players like Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Fabio Vieira are expected to continue in supporting roles for the remainder of the campaign.

Despite their reduced playing time, Arteta stressed that the trio of Smith Rowe, Nelson and Vieira could still play important roles in the title race, drawing upon Nelson’s memorable cameo against Bournemouth last season as evidence of his potential impact.

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Addressing the issue of managing player minutes ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming clash with Luton, Arteta stressed the importance of readiness and preparedness among all squad members.

Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson

Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson is yet to start a Premier League game this season (Image credit: Getty Images)

“It’s always that balance and when you play and haven’t played, it’s our obligation and duty to be prepared to play any minute, in any moment,” Arteta remarked.

READ MORE: Injury updates on Jurrien Timber, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli ahead of Luton

He continued, “You see a lot of moments; with the example of Reiss [Nelson], when you look at Reiss’ moments for Arsenal, there are moments when he’s played a few minutes and made a huge impact, and it’s one of the best days of his life as an Arsenal player.”

Highlighting the significance of such impactful contributions, Arteta underlined the potential for players to alter the course of a match or even the history of the club with just a brief appearance on the pitch.

“Nobody remembers if he started or came off the bench, and a lot of examples are like this in both football and the history of the sport when a lot of players make their impact. Sometimes you just need a second to change the history of a football club. You just need 100 minutes to play a football match.”

While Nelson’s statistics may not reflect significant goal contributions in the league this season, he has demonstrated his value as a versatile option in European and cup competitions, providing two assists in the Champions League and finding the net once in the League Cup.

Despite speculation surrounding Nelson’s future at the club, Arteta affirmed his importance to the squad and his ability to make meaningful contributions off the bench.

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