Roberto De Zerbi pinpoints Brighton players who 'suffered' at Arsenal amid Kaoru Mitoma claim

Kaoru Mitoma of Brighton in actionKaoru Mitoma of Brighton in action
Kaoru Mitoma of Brighton in action
Roberto De Zerbi says Kaoru Mitoma was one of a few Brighton players who "suffered" against Arsenal and the winger is not at his best at present.

The Japanese international didn't have many opportunities to shine against the Gunners as Albion fell to a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates on Sunday.

The 26-year-old is searching for his first goal since late September when he scored a double against Bournemouth and he has not been as consistent since returning from injury last month.

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After the Arsenal loss, head coach De Zerbi said his players struggled against Mikel Arteta's men but Mitoma is still a "crucial" player for the Sussex side.

When asked about Mitoma, he said on Sunday: "He suffered like [Evan] Ferguson, [Adam] Lallana, [Simon] Adingra. All my players suffer a lot today. Kaoru didn't play bad.

"It was a very, very tough game. He's had injuries. He's not playing at his level yet. He is still a crucial player for us. Good news about [Danny] Welbeck (being back from injury) too because we need him."

Mitoma has scored three goals and bagged six assists in all competitions this season, but teams are tending to double up on him as they know how much of a threat he can be.

Last term, in his debut campaign for the club, the former Kawasaki Frontale star bagged eight goals and as many assists.