Bukayo Saka stands out as one of the Premier League’s most consistent performers, excelling for both Arsenal and England with unwavering consistency. However, his relentless schedule has raised concerns about potential burnout and its toll on his body, which has seen him being removed from many games recently after receiving knocks in-game.
But our manager Mikel Arteta has ssued a challenge to Saka to feature in 70 games this season to prove he is potentially world-class,
The boss told Saka last year: “Look at the top players in the world, they play 70 matches and every three days and make the difference and win the game. You want to be at the top, you have to be able to do that,”
Saka is certainly trying to rise to that challenge and has been a near-constant presence, save for a brief hamstring-related absence from the match against Manchester City, and he seems to have taken the challenge to heart. Saka told Yahoo this week when asked if he could continue playing in every single game: “I think it’s possible,” he said. “When you look at the top players, they are there every three days and they are winning games for their team.
“So I’m trying to be at that level, and to obviously be at that level I need to push myself. Of course, it’s difficult, but I’m trying to do it and give it my best.
“I think I’m really focused on the next coming games and what I can do for the team. My focus is not really there (on talk of potentially burning out).
“I’m a guy who always wants to be on the pitch, always wants to give my best, and if I’m injured and I have to be forced to be out, then of course I will sit out.”
That’s a great ambition from Saka, but striking a delicate balance between maximizing Saka’s immense talent and safeguarding his long-term well-being is now paramount for Arsenal’s coaching staff. The team’s fortunes this season may hinge significantly on Saka’s form and fitness.
While Saka’s youthful vigor and resilience are assets, they do not render him impervious to the strains of such a demanding playing schedule. Some observers question the sustainability of this approach, worried about potential long-term injury risks.
Saka’s exceptional consistency and value to the team are undeniable, yet his minutes this season must be judiciously managed. His potential as one of the world’s best talents is clear, but this potential must be nurtured carefully, even if he wants to play in every game.
As the season promises to be grueling for both club and country, finding the right balance between maximizing Saka’s impact and preserving his health becomes crucial. If handled effectively, Saka’s determination to play every game could serve as the springboard propelling him into the ranks of the world’s elite footballers in the near future if he can keep his fitness and brilliant form intact in the long term.
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