The Spanish coach says he tested the teenager in several different positions to “test his character.”
Mikel Arteta has admitted that he initially had trouble finding Bukayo Saka’s best role at Arsenal and says “It took me a while to figure it out.”
Saka established himself as a regular on the Gunners’ first team with Unai Emery after graduating from the academy in 2018.
Arteta has helped the 19-year-old take his game to even greater heights since he replaced Emery in the hot seat of management, but the Spaniard admits he wasn’t sure how to best use his talent early on.
What has been said?
Arteta, who signed a three-and-a-half-year deal as Arsenal’s new coach in December 2019, has used Saka in a variety of different positions, including as a left-back, left-back, central midfielder and right-back. in an attempt to measure where it is most effective.
“It took me a while to figure it out,” said the Arsenal boss. Sky sports. “So I tried to play with him in different positions, to see how he would react.
“I wanted to test his character also because he was playing as a left back and I know it was not his ideal position, but he had to go through that period.”
When asked what makes Saka so unique, Arteta replied, “Intelligence. We talk about physicality, we talk about spirit, we talk about technique. But the brain is the one that makes all the decisions.
“’B’ makes a lot of good decisions because he’s a very smart player who can read situations. And after that, of course, he has the ability to execute them in the right way and that’s obviously a great quality. “
How has Saka performed with Arsenal this season?
Saka received an excellent four-year contract at the Emirates last July after a brilliant start in life with Arteta, who has given the teenager an even more prominent role during his first full season in charge of Arsenal.
The England international has already racked up 38 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners in 2020-21, scoring seven goals, including an excellent solo effort in Slavia Prague’s 4-0 defeat in the Europa League quarter-finals. Thursday.
Arteta added about the improvements Saka has made in the last third: “We have seen how it can affect the game more and be a real threat.
“He has the quality to decide a football game and when you have it, you have to try to get the correct position so that it is decisive as much as possible because that way the team will be closer to winning more football games.”
Saka is likely to have another chance to shine when Arsenal host Fulham in the Emirates for a London derby on Sunday, which comes five days before their next scheduled home game against Everton.
source: – target