Mikel Arteta has sent a simple message to Arsenal teen sensation, Bukayo Saka, ahead of Sunday’s game at Tottenham – Enjoy yourself!
Saka’s form has been such this season that it has not only got him a new Arsenal deal worth a reported £30kpw, but has also caught the eye of Gareth Southgate and the England setup ahead of a possible international call-up later this year.
Speaking before the North London derby on Sunday, Arteta was asked about the teenager and what he advice he would offer him as his career takes off.
“First of all, enjoy the moment. Football has some really good moments and some difficult moments,” Arteta told reporters.
“You are doing so well, so enjoy it. But then understand, this changes in 24, 48 hours. You have to live on your toes all the time, and be ready to react and act.
“Bukayo is like this. Every training session he doesn’t give any sign that there’s something different.
“There are going to be moments when he is a little bit up and down.
“It’s normal because it happens to every single player – whether you are 18 or 38.
“He needs to understand that, and take it naturally. We are here to support him, to make him better – and that’s it. Enjoy!”
With the Euros now set for 2021, the likes of Saka, Mason Greenwood, Phil Foden and Dean Henderson are all much more likely to play a part. Southgate is reportedly thinking about giving them all a chance in the September Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.
Arguably, Saka could be as valuable as any of the others to bring along. His versatility makes him excellent cover in a number of positions, whether that’s left-back, left-wing or central midfield.
It’s certainly making Saka a key member of the Arsenal squad right now. The teenager started five of the first six matches post-lockdown, playing all over the pitch.
There’s still a way to go until September, and no guarantees international matches will have even restarted by then.
For now, Saka just needs to focus on continuing to perform well for Arsenal to earn his chance. A superb showing against Tottenham would be a great place to start.