Home News Arsenal complain to PGMOL about Saka treatment – 3rd most-fouled in league

Arsenal complain to PGMOL about Saka treatment – 3rd most-fouled in league

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Incredibly, Arsenal have made a complaint to the PGMOL for repeated fouls on Bukayo Saka, and there are several reasons why this is a questionable stance to take.

Saka was the third-most fouled player in the Premier League in 2023, with only Crystal Palace‘s Jordan Ayew and Newcastle‘s Bruno Guimaraes ahead of him in that particular category.

This has caused the Gunners to protest about the treatment the winger is receiving in the top flight, but we’re not entirely sure their issue is a completely valid one.

The Daily Mail have reported that Arsenal have taken exception to persistent challenges on the winger, which have led to him becoming the league’s third most-fouled player.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 16, 2022: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) challenges Arsenal's Bukayo Saka during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

You may, quite rightly, be wondering where Mohamed Salah sits in that particular list, with the Egyptian regularly subjected to aggressive handling in the Premier League.

Remarkably, he finds himself all the way down in 68th on that front, but that doesn’t necessarily tell the full story.

The stats show that only two players are fouled more regularly than Saka, but that metric only accounts for challenges that are awarded as fouls by referees.

That means that officials are, in fact, protecting the 22-year-old from such treatment more than most, while vast amounts of offences on Salah continue to go unpunished.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is fouled by Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings for a penalty during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mikel Arteta told Saka back in February that he can’t rely on referees to help him out when challenged by opponents, but the figures show that this is increasingly becoming the case.

Arsenal‘s complaints are centred around a lack of bookings for the tackles he is subjected to, but Jurgen Klopp might argue that merely pulling play back when Salah is wrestled to the ground would be a good starting point.

It might also be worth Arteta and Arsenal remembering that Saka was fortunate to escape a sending-off during their recent 1-1 draw with the Reds at Anfield.

The two sides will come up against each other again in the FA Cup third round this weekend, but Salah won’t be available for the clash having already departed for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Let’s see which of the wingers ends up winning the most fouls in 2024, no prizes for guessing!