Mikel Arteta given reasons to keep playing Bukayo Saka as a left-back

Former Gunner Nigel Winterburn has urged Mikel Arteta to keep developing Bukayo Saka as a left-back at Arsenal, even if his other natural left-backs become available.

Saka has been Arsenal’s left-back for much of this season and he has been given starts in 11 of the club’s last 12 league games in that position.

The teenager is naturally a left-winger and played in that position when he first broke into the Arsenal starting XI.

He has, however, impressed in the left-back role and former Arsenal defender, Nigel Winterburn has backed him to continue developing his game in that position.

Winterburn is of the opinion that the youngster has all the pace that would make him thrive in that position and he also backs him to enjoy more freedom when he attacks from that position.

Speaking on the Chronicles of a Gooner Podcast on Youtube Winterburn said: “I think he has [a future there]. It’s a completely different role, the full-back role, to when I first started. But I think he that role suits him really well. 

“I don’t know whether he wants to go and be a wide-left player, a winger in the future. That will be discussion that’s open, maybe he’s open to both positions if needed.

“If you look what he’s achieved, I remember going to cover a game for the under-23s, Freddie Ljungberg was in charge at the time, I managed to have a quick chat with him about players coming through and who he thought would be the player who would make the step through into the first team eventually and be a huge hit.

“Saka was the one that was talked about. In terms of what he’s done at left-back, it’s absolutely incredible.

“He’s adapted and what I think it gives him and what I love that he’s doing, it’s given him freedom moving forward and coming onto the ball and he’s almost not being marked.

“He’s so dangerous when he’s in possession of the ball and his quality of crossing in some of the balls he’s put in for some of the goals has been absolutely sensational.

“There’s no doubt in my mind if Arsenal wanted to and Mikel Arteta wanted to keep him in that position and work with him, then he’s going to become stronger and stronger.

“Because defensively he’s going to improve and you just keep working on your game going forward. To me, he’s been an absolute sensation in that position.”

Mikel Arteta has said that he would find a way to accommodate the teenager in his attack when his team is fully fit.

Tags Bukayo Saka Nigel Winterburn
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