Mikel Arteta talks up Bukayo Saka’s influence at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta explains why he's been so impressed by Bukayo Saka's attitude at Arsenal this season
Mikel Arteta has admitted that he has been impressed by Bukayo Saka’s willingness to learn since he took over as Arsenal boss in December.
The 18-year-old’s primary position is as a left winger, but he has been thrown into the left-back role at The Emirates in recent games following injuries to Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac.
Saka has been impressing with his performances in the back four in recent games and he notched up an assist during the 4-0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.
The teenager has made 16 appearances in the Premier League this season and has been earning lots of praise for his solid form for the Gunners.
Now, Arteta has opened up about why he has been so impressed by Saka’s attitude since he was appointed as Arsenal’s new head coach late last year.
Speaking in an interview with Arsenal’s website, Arteta said: “He’s learning that you are able to adapt and that you are able to sacrifice for the team, and [you learn that you] don’t use excuses,” he said.
“If you are moved, to say ‘OK, now if I do not play good, I have the right excuse because this is not my position’.
“It’s the complete opposite, try to learn, try to pick things up straight away and try to be more productive for the team, and I think he [Saka] has done it really, really well.
“Those game moments, you have to read them and when you play more games and you become more mature, you start to make better decisions all the time because you can sniff where the danger is, depending on the result, how many minutes are played and what happened in the last two actions. And we have to help him to do that.”
Saka will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Europa League action on Thursday night with a trip to Greece to take on Olympiakos.
The Gunners will then switch their attentions back towards Premier League affairs and their home clash against Everton on Sunday.