Steven Gerrard has told Bukayo Saka that he’ll have to get used to the physicality of the Premier League after the Arsenal youngster called for more protection from referees.
The Gunners were 1-0 victors over Gerrard’s Villa side on Saturday afternoon, and Bukayo Saka was the man to get the solitary goal of the game, but shortly after he was on the wrong end of a bad foul from Tyrone Mings.
The young forward then spoke out as he called for more protection for players after the incident, but the Villa boss has claimed that he must get used to it unfortunately, highlighting his own plight from his own playing days.
“He’s a good player, an outstanding talent,” Gerrard told the Mirror. “I love him. But he can’t complain about that side of it, that’s football.
“I’m sitting here now with screws in my hips. I’ve had about 16 operations. I’m struggling to go to the gym at the moment. That’s all on the back of earning a living in English football. He’ll learn and he’ll learn quick.”
Saka could now be set to miss out on the upcoming international fixtures with England set to take on Switzerland and the Ivory Coast in friendly matches next week, and while you feel bad for him having to miss out, the rest could well be better for our end of season push.
I’m not saying that it is a good thing that he has taken the knock in any shape or form, as these injuries can add up over time, but as one of the best players in the team or the division, he will always be subject to these sorts of fouls, and will be a target for teams.
With that in mind, I have to agree with Gerrard a little bit, in that he just needs to strengthen up mentally and physically and get on with his football, as there is little that the referees can or will do to help unfortunately.
Is it down to Arteta to juggle Saka’s playing time better? Would he have been less susceptible to injury had he had a full week’s rest before the Villa clash?
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