Mikel Arteta lauds Arsenal star with ‘rare’ quality as two Premier League teams ‘monitor his situation’
Mikel Arteta has lauded Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka but the head coach insists the England international still has “room for improvement”.
The winger has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season as he has boosted Arsenal’s chances of winning the title.
The 21-year-old has grabbed 12 goals and ten assists in 28 league games this term and he also shone for England during the international break.
Saka is a contender to win the Premier League’s Player of the Year award and he is set to be rewarded with a new long-term contract.
His current deal is up in 2024 but it is being reported that his new contract will see him earn around £15m a year.
Fabrizio Romano has reassured Arsenal supporters that Saka will pen a new contract ‘very soon’. He also claims ‘three clubs [two from England and one from abroad] have been monitoring his situation for a long time, but he’s staying with the Gunners’.
Arteta has now praised Saka as the “consistency he’s shown at his age” is “something rare to see”.
“Yes,” Arteta told Sky Sports when asked if Saka can still improve.
“First of all, I think you have to recognise what he’s been doing. The consistency he’s shown at his age and at this level is something rare to see. He’s taken it with normality.
“If you ask me if he has room for improvement, I would say: ‘Yes – a lot.’ He’s never satisfied, he always wants more and he can still do a lot of things better and more efficiently.
“But we are really pleased to have him.”
Gunners legend Paul Merson thinks “there’s plenty more to come” from Saka, but he will “find things harder at some stage”.
“He’s got a great calmness about him. He’s only 21, there’s plenty more to come from him. He won’t play his best football until he’s 26, 27 or 28,” Merson added.
“The problem he will find is, because of the position he plays, he will find things harder at some stage. As he becomes more well known, teams will put him on the radar a lot more. Teams will look to stop the ball getting to him and they will also double up on him very quickly.
“He will have to change his game again to combat that but he has the temperament to handle that.
“But he just loves football. All he wants is to play football and he plays the game with a smile on his face. He has all the ingredients to go as far as he wants in the game.”
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