Mikel Arteta details clear “shift” in Bukayo Saka which sparked incredible Arsenal form

Mikel Arteta believes that there’s been a shift in Bukayo Saka‘s mentality which has sparked his incredible displays this season as Arsenal challenge for the Premier League title.

Saka, 21, is enjoying a rich vein of form for both club and country, as he recently scored and registered an assist during England‘s 2-0 win against Ukraine over the international break. Now back at Arsenal for the final 10 fixtures of what’s already been a personal best campaign for Saka, Arteta has lifted the lid on what’s changed for the Gunners winger.

“First of all his mentality, there has been a shift there,” the Arsenal manager, whose side sit eight points clear at the top of the league table, affirmed on Friday ahead of their home clash with Leeds. “How much he wants it, what he does every single day and then obliviously the maturity, the acknowledge of what to do in every situation, his decision making is getting better and better.

“He is deciding football matches more and more often and he has good team-mates at Arsenal and England and that is an important thing to have when you play in attacking positions.”

Asked if there’s a player in better form than Saka right now, Arteta replied: “I don’t know. We try to assess the players we have. He is in exceptional form, he is full of confidence and physically in the right condition and he is providing to the team exactly what he needs. So he needs to continue to do that.”

What’s arguably most impressive about the 21-year-old is his consistency. It’s hard to pick out a purple patch throughout his red-hot season, nor was there a stage were his performances noticeably dipped.

Bukayo Saka has been in incredible form for club and country

Bukayo Saka has been in incredible form for club and country
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s unknown for a young player to be so consistent at the elite level and that’s what surprises – and pleases – the Gunners boss. “I think that is getting better and better and there are lot of things that he is doing to maintain the consistency,” Arteta went on to say.

“His habit. Every single day what he does. How he talks to himself. How he allows people to give him advice in the right moment, how he pushes himself, the people around him, they are very important factors for someone to be that consistent every day.”

Have your say! Is Saka a candidate for Player of the Year? Let us know in the comments section.

Mikel Arteta knows what's changed in Bukayo Saka's game

Mikel Arteta knows what’s changed in Bukayo Saka’s game
Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Arsenal hero Paul Merson recently hailed Saka’s qualities and explained what the England international has over his contemporaries. “Saka is a big moment player, and he produces at crucial times in big football matches,” the ex-Gunners playmaker told Sky Sports.

“He’s not the player that gets a hat-trick against a side bottom of the league or he’s not grabbing the seventh goal in a 7-0 win. At Arsenal, he’s getting the first goal, the equaliser or the winner. He’s getting assists at crucial moments.

“He’s a big occasion player and there are not a lot of them around. There are players that will do a lot of things in games, but they won’t be in the most important part of the game. Saka does do that, however, on a weekly basis.”

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