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Arteta says Arsenal star wanted more training to improve in some areas, now a ‘really different player’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed how Bukayo Saka has been asking for more training to improve in certain areas, such as the “final bit” in the box.

He is now becoming a “really different player” as a result, added the Gunners boss.

Saka is one of Arsenal’s biggest breakthrough stars in recent years, rising from the Hale End ranks to become an indispensable member of the XI.

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

(Photo by Frank Augstein – Pool/Getty Images)

The 19-year-old’s latest outing, in the 3-1 Premier League win over Southampton on Tuesday, saw him deliver another masterclass as he registered a goal and an assist.

Saka now has five top-flight goals this season, more than every other teenager combined.

He is also the second English teenager to score for Arsenal in consecutive Premier League appearances, after Ashley Cole just over 20 years ago. asked Arteta whether he saw shades of Raheem Sterling – a player he coached at Manchester City and who also added goals to his game – in Saka.

“Bukayo is doing really well,” replied the Arsenal boss. “He’s all the time asking to train more to improve in areas that he can do better.

“That was certainly one, producing the final bit in the box to score or assist. He’s doing that much more often.

“If he’s able to do that with the intelligence that he has, with the work rate that he shows on the pitch and with the capacity that he has to understand the game in different positions, then he becomes a really different player.”

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Fans, pundits and peers are running out of superlatives for Saka, a player of the highest calibre who, let’s not forget, is still just 19 and is most likely capable of so much more as he continues to progress, develop and gain more experience.

Arsenal may have had a bit of a rollercoaster season so far this term – as was the case in 2019-20 – but things look to be heading in the right direction as a club, and having Saka in the ranks is such a big plus – hopefully he’ll play a big part in winning more silverware over the years.

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