Mikel Arteta answered more questions on young Arsenal star Bukayo Saka this week, as the teenager continues to impress.
19-year-old Bukayo Saka is currently on a run of two consecutive Arsenal Player of the Month awards, and he’s consistently putting in top performances for the team.
Since Christmas, Saka has five goals and three assists, and he earns praise whether he’s on the scoresheet or not. At the weekend, Pep Guardiola picked the youngster out positively despite Arsenal falling to defeat.
Mikel Arteta says Saka’s consistency is ‘very unusual’ for someone of his age.
“His form in recent months shows that he’s a very important player for us,” Arteta began. “I think he’s getting better and better, his performance levels have been really consistent, so that makes him for sure one of the most important players in recent months.
“[His consistency] is very unusual but he’s been doing a lot of unusual things.
“He’s dealing with things at his age in a very unusual way, but that’s why he’s showing what he’s showing, because his maturity is above his age and so is his intelligence as well.”
In a somewhat symbolic moment during the Europa League Round-of-32 first-leg, Saka stepped up to score Arsenal’s only goal of the game to bail out their star striker and club captain for his disappointing display in front of goal.
Those sorts of moments show that Saka is taking responsibility for the team himself, he’s not just padding his stats when things are already going well as many young players do.
Keep it up for a few more months and not only would Arsenal reap the rewards, but it’s also hard to imagine how Gareth Southgate could justify leaving him out of the Euros this summer.