Bukayo Saka’s ‘remarkable’ traits identified by Arteta as Arsenal boss hails ace

Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka, who he believes is "maturing" into a great player.

Saka broke into Arsenal's first team in late 2018, with then-manager Unai Emery handing him four appearances. The winger, however, didn't get his real break until Arteta replaced his fellow countryman at the Emirates helm.

Saka, 19, has gone from strength to strength since his first start under the Spaniard, making a further 43 appearances for the north Londoners.

The versatile winger – who has also been deployed as a wing-back – has bagged five goals and provided 12 assists during his brief run in the first team.

Saka's exploits recently saw him rewarded with a call-up to the England squad, with the prospect making his Three Lions debut against Wales on Thursday night.

Arteta has been blown away by the youngster's progress over the last year, in particular his ability to read the game and his decision making.

"Absolutely [it's been crazy] and this is down to all the good work that is being done at Hale End with him, with all the coaches, all the education that he's been through here and then the type of character and player that he is," Arteta said of Saka during an interview with Arsenal's official website.

Notable transfer fees for British players

  • 1893: Aston Villa kicked off the big money transfers with tier £100 cheque to land Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion.
  • 1904: Alf Commons moved from Sunderland to Middlesbrough for £1,000 and sparked a national outrage.
  • 1928: Arsenal bought David Jack from Bolton Wanderers for £10,890
  • 1957: John Charles moves from Leeds to Juventus shatters the transfer record at £65,000
  • 1961: Denis Law joins Manchester United from Torino for £115,000
  • 1970: Martin Peters joins Tottenham from West Ham for £200,000
  • 1977: Kevin Keegan goes from Liverpool to Hamburg for £500,000
  • 1979: Trevor Francis becomes first £1m player with switch from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest.
  • 1996: Alan Shearer goes from Blackburn to Newcastle for £15m
  • 2013: Gareth Bale switches from Tottenham to Real Madrid for £86m

"The way he's maturing, the way he's assimilating everything that's happened to him in the last few months is remarkable.

"Physically he has evolved. He looks a little bit older. But then how he's able to read the game, the situation that happens to him, how he resolves the situation, how long it takes to make those decisions.

"His communication has improved a lot towards his team-mates as well because he feels more part of the team, he's integrated, he feels important in the team I think.

"Then what he's able to do with the ball in the final third when things get a little bit difficult, and how he approaches those moments is probably the biggest part of his game.

"What I like about him is that he's very versatile, he's really intelligent and that he adapts and has a lot of courage to play the game.

"It doesn't matter which position he plays, he acts exactly the same way. He's so willing to learn and ask the right questions that he can set his own limits."

Saka and his Arsenal team-mates will be back in action a week on Saturday, travelling to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City.

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