In a gripping revelation, Arsenal recently voiced their concerns to PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) regarding the rough treatment that their rising star, Bukayo Saka, has been enduring on the pitch. Delving into the statistics unveils a striking reality – Saka not only ranked as the third-most fouled player in the Premier League in 2023 but maintains this position in the current campaign as well.
The Unsettling Saga of Saka’s Fouls: Arsenal’s Complaints to PGMOL
The crux of Arsenal’s complaint revolves around their assertion that opponents seem to enjoy a certain degree of leniency when clattering Saka. According to the Gunners, the 22-year-old England star often faces harsh challenges without immediate punitive action from match officials.
In their plea to PGMOL, Arsenal advocates for a proactive approach, suggesting that a yellow card should be brandished after the first substantial foul on Saka, rather than waiting for a second transgression. As the saga unfolds, the question lingers – who truly has cause for complaint as fouls continue to mar Saka’s stellar performances?
Top 10 Most Fouled Players in Premier League 2023
In the intense realm of Premier League clashes, Arsenal’s winger, Bukayo Saka, emerged as the third-most fouled player throughout 2023, weathering a staggering 87 fouls, as per comprehensive data compiled by Stats Perform. The only contenders to surpass him in this relentless physicality were Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew (117) and Bruno Guimaraes (92) from Newcastle.
A notable inclusion in this list is James Maddison, securing the fourth spot with 80 fouls against him in his Premier League endeavors split between Leicester City and Tottenham, following his impactful summer move to the capital.
The midfield maestros, Aston Villa’s John McGinn and Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, stand shoulder to shoulder, each earning 78 fouls for their respective clubs. Astonishingly, Villa’s Ezri Konsa and Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise both notched up more than 70 fouls each in the English top flight throughout 2023.
Completing the top 10 for the calendar year, the West Ham duo of Lucas Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen showcased their prowess by winning over 60 fouls each, solidifying their impact for the Hammers on the turf.
The Fouls Persist: Premier League’s Top Contenders for 2023-24 Season
As the 2023-24 season unfolds, the trend of relentless fouls continues to weave its narrative. Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew claims the top spot, having triumphed in 65 fouls for Palace, closely trailed by Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes with 53 fouls earned.
Bukayo Saka, Arsenal’s resilient winger, mirrors his previous standing, securing the third position by winning 43 fouls, just a hair’s breadth ahead of West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta, who trails with one less foul to his name.
Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon carves his presence with 38 fouls won, overshadowing the formidable duo of Aston Villa’s John McGinn and Ezri Konsa.
In the midst of this physical chess game, Manchester City’s Phil Foden showcases his skill by earning 33 fouls for his club in the ongoing campaign. Meanwhile, a trio of players—Brighton’s Joao Pedro, Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, and Nottingham Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White—stand tied with 32 fouls won each for their respective clubs.
The Premier League, amidst FA Cup commitments and a staggered winter break for top English clubs, braces for a limited number of games in January. Fans anticipate the resumption of action with the Saturday lunchtime derby between Chelsea and Fulham on January 13, promising a thrilling spectacle with all 20 clubs engaged in staggered kick-offs across the following two weekends.
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