Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka can play 'much better' than he did yesterday
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes Bukayo Saka can play even better than he did against Crystal Palace yesterday.
Arteta was speaking to the club’s official website after another dominant win in the Premier League.
Their midweek defeat on penalties to Sporting CP was a rare setback in an otherwise fantastic season.
Mikel Arteta did rotate his side in the Europa League, but ended up calling on the likes of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard to try and win the game.
The Gunners showed yesterday that result was very much a one-off, putting a struggling Crystal Palace side to the sword.
Bukayo Saka was once again instrumental in their victory, scoring a brace and setting up Gabriel Martinelli’s opener.
It means he’s now scored and assisted more than 10 goals in the league this season, the first player to achieve that feat this campaign.
It’s a sign of just how consistently good Saka has been, but Arteta believes he can play even better.
Arteta has set the £70,000-a-week forward a challenge to continue delivering brilliant performances.
Arteta thinks Saka can play even better than Crystal Palace performance
Asked about the England international, Arteta said: “He’s improving because he’s got the right team-mates that make him better, and that’s really important.
“It’s true that he affected the game in the right way for us and he’s been really consistent. We need to maintain that.
“He remains humble, he knows that he can still be much better, do things a lot better than he does and that’s a big given because he’s still 21 years old.”
Pundits are running out of superlatives to describe Saka, with Steve Nicol suggesting he doesn’t have a single flaw to his game.
Arteta suggested at full-time that Saka was actually annoyed because he wasn’t able to secure his first Arsenal hat-trick.
At 21, he’s going to have plenty of opportunities to earn that accolade throughout his career.
With ten games to go, maintaining Saka’s fitness will be a priority for Arteta.
Even though he’s now away on England duty, there was no point risking him picking up an injury in the final minutes.
Saka could end up being the difference between a league title and heartbreaking second place finish this season.