Mikel Arteta impressed with Bukayo Saka after Arsenal’s draw vs Benfica

Bukayo Saka

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was impressed with the performance of Bukayo Saka during the club’s 1-1 draw against Benfica last night.

The north London side dominated the proceedings in the Europa League round of 32 first-leg tie but were made to rue missed scoring opportunities.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered a few clear-cut chances on the night while Saka also missed out on an opportunity to find the back of the net.

Against the run of play, Benfica took the lead in the 55th minute through Pizzi after they were handed a penalty for a handball from Emile Smith Rowe.

There was an instant reaction from the Gunners as they equalised in the 57th minute after Cedric Soares fizzed in a cross for a simple tap-in for Saka.

They were no more goals in the contest but the Gunners managed to bag a handy away goal ahead of the return leg in Piraeus next week.

Speaking after the game, Arteta said that Saka is full of confidence at the moment and was impressed with the consistency that has been brought into his game.

“I think he’s in a great moment, he’s full of confidence – he’s been really important in recent results,” he told Arsenal.com.

“His form is probably the highest that it’s been since I’ve been here and he’s been really consistent.

“He needs to keep going and (we need to) be wise with him because at the moment he’s a big part of the team.”

Saka has been playing in his accustomed right-wing position this term and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers in recent months.

He has registered six goals and five assists from 29 appearances and will have a key role to play for the club in the second-leg of the round of 32 tie.

Prior to that, the Gunners have a tough Premier League game against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening.

The club have failed to pick up a single point against City since April 2017 where they registered a 2-2 draw at the Emirates.

The task will be a lot tougher with Pep Guardiola’s side on a stunning 17-match winning streak in all competitions.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com