Mikel Arteta makes remarkable Bukayo Saka claim after outstanding display in Arsenal win

The Arsenal boss made the bold suggestion that the heartache Saka suffered at the end of the Euro 2020 final may have actually been beneficial for his career in the long-run

Mikel Arteta claims that Bukayo Saka’s penalty heartache for England at Euro 2020 may have had a positive impact on the 20-year-old… with Arsenal now reaping the benefits.

Saka was a pivotal figure in the Gunners’ win at Watford as he scored one and assisted another in the 3-2 victory at Vicarage Road.

The Arsenal academy graduate linked up well with Martin Odegaard for the Norwegian midfielder’s opener before turning goal-scorer when Saka restored his side’s lead after Watford had initially equalised.

Another promising Arsenal youngster in Gabriel Martinelli added Arsenal’s third in stellar fashion as the Brazilian lashed a thunderous right-footed effort beyond the rooted Ben Foster.

While Moussa Sissoko’s late goal sparked a nervy finish for Arteta’s men, Arsenal were able to hold on for what could prove to be a crucial three points come the end of the season.

Saka has been in fantastic form for the majority of the league season, following a brutal finish to his Euro 2020 campaign with England.

The Gunners star was the player who missed the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shootout loss to Italy last July, while Manchester United duo Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also failed to convert from 12-yards.

Following the win at the home of the Hornets, Arteta was full of praise for his number seven.

“I think Bukayo had an experience in the summer that not a lot of players would ever have and I think it was great for his career because the football world showed how much they like him and how much they respect him,” the Spaniard explained.

“I think that was a big boost for him to realise in difficult moments that people are going to give him support, and the club did exactly the same as his team-mates.

Arteta went on to suggest that Saka still has plenty of room to grow and is on an upward trajectory.

“Then it’s about giving him that space. What he is already doing is phenomenal and he needs that room. Don’t read too much, do what you do.

“Football is his priority in life and you can see that every day in training and he needs to continue to behave and live the way that he is doing.”

Saka is now joint-top when it comes to Arsenal’s Premier League goalscoring charts, alongside fellow academy star Emile Smith Rowe on nine strikes for the season.