A talented teenager impressed for his country at a first senior international tournament but missed a decisive spot-kick in an agonising final defeat to Italy that led to him becoming a target for trolls.
According to Mikel Arteta, Saka is fine
Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka is “fine” on the back of Euro 2020 penalty shootout heartache with England and expects the 19-year-old to take his game to even greater heights with Arsenal in 2021-22. A talented teenager impressed for his country at a first senior international tournament but missed a decisive spot-kick in an agonising final defeat to Italy that led to him becoming a target for trolls. Saka has vowed not to let “hate” win, saying, “I will not let this break me”, and his club manager believes there are plenty of positives to take from a steep learning curve. Gunners boss Arteta has told reporters of Saka, who is now enjoying a well-earned break: “He’s fine. Obviously, he had some tough days after what happened in the final, but I think you have to look at the whole picture.”
The winger was Arsenal’s Player of the Season
“This kid, at 19 years old, has played almost every game in the Premier League. He was our Player of the Season; I think he has earned respect and admiration of everyone at the football club. But not only that, he’s gone to an international stage, he started the European competition with an injury and still he has managed to be in the starting XI. He reached the final, and he couldn’t lift that trophy, but I think he has a much bigger trophy than that, and that’s that now he really knows that in good and bad moments, everybody at the club, every Arsenal fan and every English fan is right behind him.”
“He has earned that with his behaviour, his talent and with the way he is. That’s going to be there for the rest of his life. A trophy is there in the wardrobe, and then you have to be the man in the next one. But what he has achieved and how he has united people is very powerful, and he should be proud of that.” Along with other international stars, Saka will be absorbed back into the Arsenal fold later in pre-season, as the countdown continues to a Premier League opener against newly-promoted Brentford on August 13. The Gunners will be looking to improve on their efforts from last season when they missed out on European qualification, and home-grown stars will have a leading role to play in that quest.