Pep Guardiola singled out Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard for praise after Manchester City’s victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Though they only won 1-0 against Arsenal, Manchester City will probably look back on their latest clash with the Gunners as a comfortable one. They always looked the more likely of the two sides to score the next goal, after taking the lead so early on.
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Yet Pep Guardiola did have some praise for a couple of Arsenal’s younger stars after the match. He picked out Real Madrid loanee and 19-year-old Bukayo Saka as two of the players that caused his team problems and will again in the future.
“With [Martin] Odegaard and especially with Saka they are a really tough opponent to play,” Guardiola said. “They have incredible young, talented players and I see a bright, bright future for Arsenal.
“If they can get a few players in a few positions they will make an incredible step forward. They are a team who make all the opponents suffer a lot when they play against them.”
On Odegaard specifically, Guardiola added: “He’s a big talent. He was a brilliant Real Madrid player and when you play for Real Madrid you’re always good.”
Saka has consistently been one of the bright sparks of Arsenal’s season, so it’s not unexpected to see him getting further praise. Whether he plays on the right or the left, he finds a way to have an impact on the game, even when the team aren’t performing well.
Personally, I didn’t think Odegaard had his best game against Manchester City, as they somewhat crowded him out. But it’s still very early days for him and he had a couple of good performances in his last two starts.
With Odegaard, there’s also the issue of needing to sign him on a permanent deal before we can worry about him achieving his long-term potential. But it’s nice to hear some praise for the pair regardless.