Mikel Arteta discusses how Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has evolved

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Saka impressing

The 2019/20 campaign saw Bukayo Saka firmly cement himself as one of the best rising stars not only at Arsenal, but in England as a whole.

The now 19-year-old notched 38 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners’ senior side last term.

And, despite his tender years and lack of first-team experience, Saka managed to notch four goals and 11 assists across these outings, with his assist tally the highest of any Arsenal player last term.

Saka’s fine form has since also continued into the new campaign, with the youngster having netted one and assisted one in five outings thus far.

Such impressive production even saw Saka called up to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.

He was handed his Three Lions senior debut earlier this week, featuring for 76 minutes as Southgate’s men put Wales to the sword by three goals to nil.

Arteta on Saka

Along with his creative spark, another trait of Saka’s which could prove incredibly valuable to both Arsenal and England over the years to come is his versatility.

Over the last year or so, the teen has lined out at left-wing-back, left-wing, right-wing and as a central midfielder.

And this kind of versatility is just one of the attributes which has seen Mikel Arteta move to heap praise on Saka this weekend.

Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Arteta opened up on Saka’s evolution, and went on to name the areas in which he feels the English international is improving, including his physicality, maturity, communication and ability in the final third:

“Absolutely [it’s been crazy] and this is down to all the good work that is being done at Hale End with him, with all the coaches, all the education that he’s been through here and then the type of character and player that he is,

“The way he’s maturing, the way he’s assimilating everything that’s happened to him in the last few months is remarkable. Physically he has evolved. He looks a little bit older. But then how he’s able to read the game, the situation that happens to him, how he resolves the situation, how long it takes to make those decisions.

“His communication has improved a lot towards his team-mates as well because he feels more part of the team, he’s integrated, he feels important in the team I think. Then what he’s able to do with the ball in the final third when things get a little bit difficult, and how he approaches those moments is probably the biggest part of his game.

“What I like about him is that he’s very versatile, he’s really intelligent and that he adapts and has a lot of courage to play the game. It doesn’t matter which position he plays, he acts exactly the same way. He’s so willing to learn and ask the right questions that he can set his own limits.”

See also: England vs Belgium betting tips: UEFA Nations League preview, predictions & odds

France vs Portugal betting tips: UEFA Nations League preview, predictions & odds


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
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Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
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