Bukayo Saka

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Interview

Saka - What Arteta has already taught me

This season has been a steep learning curve for Bukayo Saka.

Not only did the 18-year-old become the third-youngest player to start a Premier League game for us, during our draw at Everton, he has also featured largely out of position in an unfamiliar role at left back.
 
But although it has been a challenge, Saka says Mikel Arteta's influence has helped him settle into his first-team surroundings.
 
"He's someone who understands the players, understands the club and all the ideas that he's bringing in," he said. "He has a clear strategy of how he wants us to play and we're just really excited to work with him.
 
"He's teaching us little things that we didn't know before and just bringing in his own strategies, his own ways of playing. We can see that it's going to work, we're just looking forward to doing it.

"Maybe one thing that I've picked up straight away is that when nobody's pressing you, you don't need to pass the ball. What you can do is just get the ball, drive the ball forward a bit and wait for someone to come to you, commit a player, then pass it.
 
"Then that man will be free or that man will have less pressure on him. It's just attracting players before you pass the ball off, which will help our team-mates a lot on the pitch.
 
"He has his own way, his own philosophy and he's even talked about bringing his own philosophy to the club, to try to bring the club back to the direction we need to be in.
 
"We need to win games and win trophies, so I feel like he has that vision and that strategy. He knows how he wants us to get there. If we can be on board and do what he wants us to, we'll do well."

Quotes

Saka - How left back will improve me as a winger

Bukayo Saka is flying at the moment.

Despite playing in an unfamiliar role at full back, our talented 18-year-old has assisted eight goals across all competitions this season, more than any other Arsenal player. 

And Saka says his current left-back role will only improve his skills as a winger in the future.

"I've learned a lot about how wingers in the Premier League play against defenders and how to position myself because in his system it’s different," he said. 

"I get to play much higher because the winger comes inside and I get to go. There’s a lot of space for me and it’s good for me. I’m playing sort of as a winger when we have the ball but without the ball I have to come back and work on my clearances, my heading and stuff I haven’t worked on my whole life. I feel like I’m doing ok right now.

"In the future if I do get to go back onto the wing I feel like I know how full backs play and playing as a full back I know what wingers do, what I like them to do and what I don’t like them to do. It’s a good learning experience for me.

"I’m really enjoying my football under the new manager. It’s not my natural position but he’s given me all the advice I need. I’ve got Granit behind, David supporting and speaking to me so it gives me licence to go and express myself in the final third and do what I can do.

"The Newcastle win will really give us that push we need. It will give us a lot of confidence. It shows we can do it, we can score goals. We just need to shut up at the back and we can score goals. As long as we continue to play like this we’ll win games."

 

 

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