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The big FA Cup final decision Mikel Arteta has made for Arsenal that surprised Robin van Persie

Former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has expressed his surprise that Bukayo Saka was not included in the Gunners’ starting line-up for the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

The young starlet has been one of the stand-out performers for Mikel Arteta’s side, particularly since the resumption of the season in June, and signed a lucrative new contract to cement his future at the club.

However, the teenager has not started since the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the penultimate game of the Premier League season – missing the final match of the league campaign against Watford.

While some may have expected that Saka could have been rested ahead of the FA Cup final, he was omitted from the starting line-up and instead started the match on the bench.

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That has led to Van Persie expressing his surprise at the decision, as he feels he has been Arsenal’s best player in recent months.

“In the last few games he hasn’t been playing, which surprised me because he’s been playing so well and I think he’s been their stand-out player over the last couple of months,” he told BT Sport.

“He can play in different positions, on the wing, even full-back and he did really well, so it’s surprised me that he’s not starting.”