Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has advised Mikel Arteta to keep developing Bukayo Saka as a left-back at Arsenal.
This is because the teenager has shown that he can make that position his natural position if he continues his upward trajectory.
However, he is naturally a left-winger and some people would argue that keeping him at left-back is affecting his progress.
Winterburn pointed to the fact that he has the pace and freedom to cause even more damage out wide from that position and I cannot help but wonder if the player is built for that position.
A left-back has a lot more responsibility than just getting forward and recovering fast.
We expect players in that position to also defend the ball well and provide good crosses. These aren’t Saka’s strength.
The teenager loves to go forward and does that well, but he is a major suspect at the back and I think when teams target him, he would struggle to even get forward.
Saka is built to influence the game in an attacking sense, which is one reason he thrives going forward, but I doubt if he will ever become a world-class defender.
Trying to make him an attacking left-back would limit his progress as a footballer. The best option is for Arteta to take him back forward when our left-backs are fit and only bring him back to that position when we need help there again.
Put it this way, in my opinion there is far more chance of Saka becoming an elite player as an attacking winger than there is as a left-back.
An article from Ime