Nigeria-born Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has admitted that he’s “trying to learn” as much as he can from Mikel Arteta, who he credits for giving him “great advice” on how to improve.
“I feel like I’m improving every game. I’m trying to impress, trying to learn and listen to the boss because he gives great advice. I’m grateful to have a good team and good family around me. I just want to keep progressing,’ said the player who scored to give Arsenal a precious away goal in their Europa League tie against benfica.
The 19-year-old also expressed his gratitude towards Arteta after the match, revealing the influence the Spaniard has had on his game behind the scenes at Emirates Stadium.
Saka to BT Sport: “We had a lot of chances. We dominated the whole game. They got a lucky penalty which I don’t think was. We had to react well.
“We got a goal back and could have gone on to win it. It’s not the worst result, we got an away goal.
“It was good inter-play [for the goal]. We managed to switch the ball and it was a good finish by myself so I’m happy with the goal.
“It is about managing the game. Last year when we went out to Olympiakos we conceded a silly goal. We can’t put a foot wrong because if we do we will make it difficult for ourselves.”
Saka has taken his game to new heights during Arteta’s first full season at the helm, firmly establishing himself as one of the most important members of the squad.
The England international took his tally to five goals in 28 appearances across all competitions with his second-half strike against Benfica, and he has also laid on five assists for his team-mates to date.
Saka will likely be back in Arteta’s starting XI when Arsenal welcome Premier League leaders Manchester City to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners will be bidding to bring City’s 17-game winning streak to an end in that fixture as they also look to close the gap between themselves and the top six.
Arteta’s men are currently sitting 10th in the standings, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and six behind Liverpool, who occupy the final Europa League spot.