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3 players who Mikel Arteta must lean on more

Arsenal, Reiss Nelson, Mikel Arteta (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

When the Premier League returns from June 17th, the games will come thick and fast. As such, here are three players that Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta must lean on more.

The English football schedule is going to be manic when it returns. Starting from June 17th, when Arsenal play Manchester City and Sheffield United face Aston Villa, the two leftover matches from before the hiatus, it is plausible that the Gunners will play a match every three or four days for six weeks. As Dale Johnson of ESPN highlights, the schedule, which now includes FA Cup matches, will rotate between Premier League games on the weekend and then gameweeks in midweek. Those who play in the FA Cup will then have to play in the spare midweek slates. It means, between June 17th and July 25, which is just over a month, Arsenal could play 12 games should they make the semi-finals of the FA Cup which just requires a win over Sheffield United,

As a result, Mikel Arteta will have to rotate through his squad more than normal as the game are squeezed into a truncated schedule. With that in mind, here are three players who the Spaniard might have to lean on a little more.

Arsenal, Reiss Nelson

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND – MARCH 02: Christian Burgess of Portsmouth FC battles for possession with Reiss Nelson of Arsenal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Portsmouth FC and Arsenal FC at Fratton Park on March 02, 2020 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

3. Reiss Nelson

Nicolas Pepe has started seven of the last eight Premier League matches under Arteta. He also started the crucial second leg against Olympiakos in the Europa League, playing all 120 minutes, and started two of the three FA Cup ties to date. Arteta has leaned on the star winger heavily.

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This was partly due to a lack of other options. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was suspended for a time, Gabriel Martinelli was injured in the first few weeks, while Bukayo Saka was needed at left-back. Only Reiss Nelson, who started the first two Premier League matches and then missed more than a month through injury, offered an alternative option.

Nelson returned to action sensationally, producing a terrific performance in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Portsmouth. He is a hugely talented young player who Arteta seems to think extremely highly of. Pepe will not be able to play every single game between now and the end of the season. Arteta must find an option to rotate at the right-wing position. Nelson, then, could be in line for more opportunities.

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