Arsenal of England youngster, Bukayo Saka has earned more applause and words of praise from The Gunners’ gaffer, Mikel Arteta and several of their fans, following his sterling performance in Sunday’s 4-0 trouncing of Newcastle United, megasportsarena.com reports.
While several post-match commentaries named the Nigerian-born youngster man of the match for the encounter at Emirates Stadium, Arteta simply said he was glad seeing the winger make the best of his make shift role as a left-back.
In weighing how Saka has been able to fit seamlessly into playing the forced position outside his preferred role on the pitch, Arteta admitted that it is another great show of how matured and versatile the lad is, while also pointing out that the dark-skinned lad played a key role in helping the London-based side seal all three points on Sunday.
The victory is Arsenal’s first in the English Premier League since New Year’s Day, when they beat Manchester United 2-0 on January 1, and, though they remain 10th on the log, they closed the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea to seven points, before The Blues play on Monday night.
In celebrating his club’s biggest win since he took over the mantle, Arteta described Saka as a player who wants to make an impact, as he pointed out how the 18-year-old winger started at left-back on the day and made headlines for his creative nutmeg that led to Nicolas Pepe’s goal.
After going on a sublime run at goal, Saka nutmegged Valentino Lazaro before finding Pepe with a cool pass, and the Ivory Coast international put the ball home into The Magpies’ net, thereby acceding his Nigerian-born pal his eighth assist of the term, the most from any Arsenal player.
Arteta was beaming with delight about the win and celebrated Saka, who also has three goals in 24 games so far this season, as the Spanish tactician told Sky Sports: “He takes responsibility; he takes risks in the final third. He is a player who wants to make an impact, he has courage.”
Arteta also told BBC Sport: “Saka is doing really well, he always keeps his head down, he wants to learn. It’s a big project but he’s performing like a senior player. He has the courage to play every day to make decisions, to risk in the final third and he got rewarded again.”
While acknowledging chants in Saka’s favour from The Gunners’ faithful, one of their former defenders and captains, Martin Keown admitted he was impressed with the Nigerian-born lad’s performance and posited that the teenager is playing beyond his years.
Keown said during BBC’s Match of The Day: “Saka, the young kid, 18, he is of age, look at this for a bit of confidence the way he plays it through his opponents legs. Little nutmeg, out the other side, beautiful, he picks outs Pepe who has come alive. It may have flattered them a little bit 4-0 but Saka is a player going from strength to strength. ”