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Mikel Arteta insists that Bukayo Saka must “protect itself” from rough treatment by opponents


‘He needs to learn that and improve’: Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal star Bukayo Saka needs to ‘protect himself’ from rough treatment by opponents as he can’t rely on referees to help him

  • Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka needs to learn how to better protect himself
  • The Arsenal winger has faced many tough challenges
  • Arteta says it’s normal for offensive players to draw the attention of opponents

Mikel Arteta has warned Bukayo Saka that he cannot rely on referees to protect him from rough treatment, insisting: “The first person to protect Bukayo is himself.” Saka reacted angrily during Arsenal’s win over Aston Villa last week, pushing Philippe Coutinho off after another big challenge.

Ahead of Saturday’s visit to Leicester, where Arsenal can extend their lead to five points, Arteta suggested Saka enjoys the physical ‘challenge’ from defenders. But the manager reminded the 21-year-old of the dangers of losing his temper.

“There are many ways to (protect yourself) on a football pitch – within the rules – and he needs to learn and improve that. He reacted in a certain way, but that line is extremely thin and that cannot take him out of his game and lose focus,” said Arteta.

“But he can also help that to have more focus, more determination, more faith for the next action. So it’s something he has to do.’

Arteta added: “He has to learn when to take certain balls, what to do with that ball, how to use his body, when to jump… if you ask him what it used to be like when he 10, 11, 12, 13 was. , 14 – it is not very different. Wingers and talented players get kicked and fouled and demanded to win games and that’s the chance he has, that’s his role in the team.’

Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka needs to learn how to protect himself from harsh challenges

The Arsenal boss suggested Saka enjoys the physical

The Arsenal boss suggested Saka enjoys the physical “challenge” from defenders

There is growing frustration among supporters who feel the winger is being treated unfairly – and that referees are unfairly lenient. Saka has committed 40 fouls in the Premier League this season, but has only resulted in four bookings. Saka itself has been put on the map five times.

“It’s normal for creative players to want to be stopped,” Arteta said. “It’s a challenge he takes on with every opponent in front of him and he wants to win that challenge.”

The manager added: “I am sure referees want to protect each match and individuals in the best possible way. There is now a lot of attention for Bukayo, and as a team we have to take that into account in the plans we make, and understand what the opponents are doing. But referees certainly have their responsibilities and they have to do their job.’

Arteta also praised the determination and resilience Saka has shown for Arsenal

Arteta also praised the determination and resilience Saka has shown for Arsenal

As revealed by Sportsmail, Saka is close to signing a new contract worth at least £10 million a year. It is a reward for his remarkable performance and consistency. Despite being targeted by defenders, the winger has made 65 consecutive league appearances – the longest streak of any player in the division.

This ‘resilience’ does not surprise Arteta. “No, because I really see his determination and where he wants to go,” said the manager. “We’ve discussed that a lot in individual conversations with him and he really wants to get there. He will have that resilience and that ability to constantly show a certain level and always be available.’

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey could return to Leicester after missing several games with a thigh injury.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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