Tag Archives: bukayo saka

Guardiola react after Mikel Arteta’s move to turn Arsenal into title contenders.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta, admitting the Gunners could soon find themselves battling for the Premier League title.

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Arteta spent three years working under Guardiola at City before taking the plunge into first-team management with Arsenal in December 2019, but his first 14 months in the job have been about as turbulent as they could possibly be.

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season but was tipped to lose his job just a few months ago, with the Gunners closer to a relegation battle that the top four, but he has managed to steady the ship and slowly lead his side up the table – something which Guardiola confessed had impressed him.

Pep Guardiola has huge faith in Mikel Arteta | Pool/Getty Images

“I did not inspire him,” Guardiola said of his former protegee in the build-up to the meeting between the two sides on Saturday (via Sky Sports News). “What he knows he knows for himself. I am not any influence. What he is doing, all credit to him and his backroom staff.

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“All I can say is the last months show me that all managers need time and he is not an exception. What I see in the last two months every game Arsenal played is better than the opponent.

“Tomorrow we will have an incredible performance. They have an exceptional build-up, they have quality and they have energy. They have [Bukayo] Saka, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and all the players with the quality in the middle.

“In the early future, they will be real contenders to fight for the titles. Most of the time [when Arteta and I worked together] we took decisions together and I took decisions with the influence of Mikel. I don’t know if I influenced him – he has to answer this.”

Arteta has also been incredibly complimentary of City, insisting that Guardiola has built the best team in world football.

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“The football they are playing and consistency of results, take all that in and it makes them the best team,” Arteta confessed (via BBC Sport).

“They have weaknesses like every team but at the moment teams have struggled a lot to find any of that because I think first of all defensively they have been really, really strong. I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment.”

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Mikel Arteta discusses ‘ins and outs’ at Arsenal.

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Arteta hasn’t shut down the possibility there could be another late addition if a good opportunity presents itself.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has refused to say whether Ainsley Maitland-Niles will stay or go on transfer deadline day, but has confirmed the Gunners are working on a number of possible deals and hasn’t ruled out any late arrivals.

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Maitland-Niles, who turns 24 this year, has only been sparingly involved in the Premier League this season and has made most of his appearances, which have come all over the pitch, from the bench.

Leicester, Southampton, Newcastle and West Brom have all been linked with loan swoops for the England international, who might command more regular game time away from Arsenal.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is also being name-dropped as a potential target for the Magpies.

“We have decided [who could leave on loan today] and we are working on it. You will find out before 11pm,” Arteta said of the situation, via Arsenal.com.

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“I cannot speak about any individual players. What we want to do, the conversations we’ve had, the various reasons. Let’s see if we can get something done tonight,” the Spaniard added.

It has been reported that Arsenal would prefer Maitland-Niles to get game time as a full-back should he secure a move, although the player himself would rather get chances in midfield.

Leicester are said to be Maitland-Niles’ preference, but the Foxes pose a potential threat to Arsenal in the fight for European places, meaning the Gunners would rather he joins Southampton.

Arsenal have already signed goalkeeper Mat Ryan and midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan this winter, but Arteta hasn’t shut down the possibility there could be another late addition if a good opportunity presents itself.

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Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt is one player who has been and the Gunners have been in the market for a player in that position to provide cover for Kieran Tierney and free up Bukayo Saka to play further forward more permanently where he is more dangerous.

Pochettino has been in pursuit of Dele Alli since taking the PSG job, with the England midfielder out of favour at Tottenham.

“The last day of the transfer window is always unpredictable so things can happen. They might happen, they might not happen. We are on it,” Arteta said on possible incomings.

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Arsenal’s win at Southampton means alot to Bukayo Saka

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The goal put the game beyond Southampton’s reach but it was just the latest, decisive impact that Saka has had while operating down the right-hand side.

A month ago, Arsenal were being written off as relegation fodder, while Southampton were being tipped as unlikely top four contenders.

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It is testament to the fine job that Mikel Arteta has done in motivating his squad that when the two sides met in the Premier League on Tuesday night, the Gunners managed to secure a fairly straightforward win.

In the past, conceding in the opening three minutes might have been enough to down Arteta’s mentally fragile charges. However, on Tuesday this was not the case. Instead, the Gunners rallied brilliantly, eventually securing a 3-1 victory.

Bukayo Saka kneel-slides to jubilate. (Noble Reporters Media, Olamide)

The credit for such a result should not go to just one man – whether that be Arteta or a player – as collectively, the north Londoners were very strong. Despite this, someone who is worthy of extra special praise is Bukayo Saka.

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Deployed as a right forward, Saka once again impressed. Since being move to the opposite flank by Arteta five games ago, the Gunners form has improved dramatically. Prior to the switch, Arsenal had won just four of their opening 14 games.

Since swapping him, they are unbeaten, with Saka registering six direct goal involvements in as many games. His latest two contributions were very impressive as well. Just before half-time, Saka slipped free of Jake Vokins and raced onto Alexandre Lacazette’s through ball. Despite travelling at ridiculous pace, he showed the speed of thought to skip past the onrushing Alex McCarthy before firing the ball into the empty net.

After the break, he was at it again, this time returning the favour to Lacazette with a tremendous assist. Drifting free of his marker at the back post, Saka was found by Cedric Soares’ long ball. Without breaking stride, Saka latched onto it before putting an appetising ball across the box for Lacazette to bundle home.

Bukayo Saka celebrates in Style. (Noble Reporters Media, Olamide)

Of course, it would be overly simplistic to put Arsenal’s sudden upturn in fortunes down to the tweaking of one player’s role, but his success in the position does suggest that his long-term future could lie there.

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What were you doing at 19?
Previously this season, when deployed as a wing-back, there was a feeling that Saka could not influence things enough in the final third. There is little danger of that now and the England international’s efficient, yet attractive performances have played a significant role in transforming Arsenal stodgy, predictable approach play.

Considering he has only been able to legally buy a pint for just under 17 months, that is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

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Bukayo Saka to choose between Nigeria and England

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Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka admits it will be challenging to choose between England or Nigeria, should his impressive Premier League form be rewarded with international selection.

In a wide ranging interview with Sky Sports News the teenager discussed a memorable few years rising through the ranks at Arsenal, including:

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Saka is yet to receive a call-up from either England or Nigeria but he’s attracting admiring glances from both associations.

For the modest but confident 18-year-old it is a decision that will require careful consideration with family members at the right time.

“It’s a tough choice,” Saka revealed.

“I’m happy to have represented England at youth level but I’m also proud of my Nigerian heritage from my parents.

“We haven’t been picked by any team so it’s about staying humble and when the time comes we’ll make the decision.”

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Gareth Southgate has been keeping a close eye on Saka and Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood, while Jude Bellingham recently became the most expensive 17-year-old in history following his £25m move to Borussia Dortmund.

The future for England appears bright with Europe’s top clubs and their current managers putting faith in the teenage sensations.

“Greenwood and Bellingham have so much quality. Whether they are 18 or 28 or 38 they’ve got quality and when you’ve got quality you’re going to be in the team, providing you can apply the right attitude,” Saka said.

“I feel the age isn’t really a factor because they’ve got maturity and quality beyond their years. That’s why they’re being trusted I believe.”

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Mikel Arteta, like Unai Emery before him, is certainly placing his trust in Saka who has scored in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League during his 38 appearances this season.

“Being young and at a big club if you are in the team over an experienced professional the manager is basically telling you without speaking that I believe in you.

“(He’s saying) go and do what you can do and that belief gives me so much confidence. Arteta is so detailed and clear and a lot of the players will tell you we are learning from him.

“I feel like we’re going in the right direction and we’re working hard to hit the ground running next season.”

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Saka recently scored his first Premier League goal and was this week rewarded with Arsenal’s No 7 shirt, previously worn by Robert Pires, Tomas Rosicky and David Rocastle.

“I was so excited to get it. It’s stuff you dream of and to think of the legends who have had it is such an honour,” he said.

“I liked the number growing up because some of the best players in the world have worn it.

“It shows how much confidence they have in me and I want to repay their faith and hopefully can write my own history in that shirt.”

In recent years the youngster has gone from watching Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to assisting his goal at Old Trafford earlier this season.

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The youngster added: “In the academy we got tickets to watch (the first team) and I used to see him scoring goals. To now be playing with him is just amazing.

“You know he’s going to score a goal for us. He’s such a good guy who helps all the young players with advice and he’s also funny as well!”

Saka spoke in similar fashion about Arsenal legend Thierry Henry when the Frenchman gave a talk to the academy players a couple of years ago.

He revealed this particular session spent in the company of Henry was on his mind recently when he scored a first league goal.

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“His mindset was just so elite,” Saka explained.

“He told us about a day that Arsenal were behind and he wouldn’t allow his team to lose before running past everyone to score!

“When he speaks to your face and you see in his eyes how passionate he is for the game and how much he wanted to win it shows why he was such a great player.

“You dream of trying to emulate a career like his. As a young player that just inspires you and that’s why scoring against Wolves meant so much to me.”

Next weekend Saka can emulate Norman Whiteside if he scores in the FA Cup final as an 18-year-old, and although Whiteside’s record of youngest scorer in the decider is safe, it would be a proud moment for him.

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“The chance to win a trophy in my first full season is amazing. If you told me last year all of this would happen I wouldn’t have believed you!

“We have Watford to focus on first to try to build momentum. They are going to be fighting for their lives because they want to stay in the Premier League but we want to win.

“It would be a shame if we have to send them down but at Arsenal we have a winning mentality and want to win every game.”

The “humble” teenager admitted he is feeling “blessed” after signing a new long-term deal earlier in July.

With his infectious positive attitude and raw talent the Arsenal No 7 shirt may be occupied for some time.

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Arsenal extends Bukayo Saka’s contract by long stay


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Arsenal extends Bukayo Saka’s contract by long stay

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Bukayo Saka ended speculation about his future by penning a long-term contract with Arsenal on Wednesday.

Several clubs in England and across Europe were linked with the Anglo-Nigerian who is eligible to play for the Super Eagles through Hus parents.

Arsenal’s official website announced the cheering news for fans of the club with the head coach Mikel Arteta speaking in glowing terms about the player.

“Bukayo is a talented and intelligent young player.

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He has impressed me with his work ethic and attitude to learn and adapt, and it has paid off in his performances,” said Arteta.

” I am excited to continue working with him to develop him further, and for him to help us achieve our goals.

“Bukayo made his Premier League debut at the age of 17 in a 4–1 win against Fulham last season.

He scored his first senior goal in a 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt in September last year.

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Arsenal Willing to Pay Release Clause of Barcelona’s Marc Cucurella


Arsenal have shown an interest in signing Barcelona academy graduate Marc Cucurella, and are willing to pay his release clause of €25m.

The 21-year-old is able to play as a left-winger or as a left-back and has spent this season on loan at Spanish side Getafe, who are well in the running for a Champions League place – in 25 La Liga games, he’s recorded five assists and scored one goal.

Continue reading Arsenal Willing to Pay Release Clause of Barcelona’s Marc Cucurella

Bukayo saka speaks on his future at Arsenal

...says uncertainty not a distraction


Bukayo Saka insists that uncertainty surrounding his future is not a distractions as he remains fully focused on his football at Arsenal.

The 18-year-old starlet has entered the final 18 months of his contract – something that has alerted the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, who are monitoring his situation closely.


Saka has been remoulded into Mikel Arteta’s starting left-back of late, and has been spectacular in this position.

After replacing the injured Sead Kolasinac during the Gunners’ weekend win over Everton, he made an immediate impact, setting up Eddie Nketiah for Arsenal’s first goal of the day.

Prior to that, he assisted Alexandre Lacazette’s winner last week against Olympiakos, and laid on yet another assist in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Newcastle. He has an astounding ten assists to his name already this season across all competitions.

However, with just 18 months left to run on his £3,000 a week deal, Arsenal have begun negotiations to tie their teenage prodigy down to a long-term deal. Yet Saka has reassured fans that his sole focus remains on his current performances, not his future.


As learnt by NobleSport, Saka explained: “I just leave all that stuff to my agent and my parents. I just enjoy my football and play my football.”

“They’re sorting it out. Of course I’m enjoying my football, enjoying playing under the new coach so we’ll see what happens.”


Saka has come through Arsenal’s Academy and made his breakthrough under former coach Unai Emery – albeit playing in a more familiar position further up the pitch. But he has suggested he’s happy to continue in his current left-back role.

“It’s not my natural position but he’s given me all the advice I need. I learned a lot about how wingers in the Premier League play against defenders…I feel like my dream was always to be a winger, to affect games, score goals and get assists.

“For now I’ll do the job the manager asks me to.”

Reflecting upon his total of ten assists, the highest number across the first-team, he added: “It’s an honour to have the most assists in this team because we have some amazing talent and I learn so much from them every day.”


Looking ahead, the teenage star has suggested this campaign’s experience is invaluable, and that it will only benefit him in years to come.

“In the future if I do get to go back on the wing I feel like I know how full backs play and playing as a full back I know what wingers do, what I like them to do and what I don’t like them to do. It’s a good learning experience for me.”

Arsenal return to Europa League action in the second leg of their round of 32 tie against Olympiakos on Thursday.

With Kolasinac out with a ‘serious shoulder injury’, and Kieran Tierney not yet match-fit, it looks as if Saka may be in line for yet another start at left-back, and could make it four consecutive matches with an assist.


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Arsenal starlet, Bukayo Saka confused on which country to play for.

…says I haven’t made decision yet.

Arsenal starlet, Bukayo Saka, has said he is finding it difficult to decide which international side to play for.

Saka, 18, who has Nigerian parents was born in Ealing, London. He, therefore, can play for England or Nigeria

The winger, who is currently playing at left-back for the Gunners, has represented the Three Lions at U-16, U-17, U-18, and U-19 levels.

“I am always thinking about it but I haven’t made a decision yet,” Saka said.

“No one has been in touch but when I make a decision you will find out.”

Saka has also praised Unai Emery for giving him his debut before the Spanish boss was sacked by Arsenal.

The youngster said, “I have a lot of thanks to give him because he gave me so much confidence, he gave me my debut and he kept pushing me. I am grateful to him always.

‘It’s just something I have always dreamed of, coming up from the academy to the first team.’

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