Mikel Arteta says that Bukayo Saka’s most important attribute is his intelligence, and it has helped him pass a test in terms of his position in the Arsenal team.
Saka has been one of Arsenal’s stand out players this season, with 14 goal contributions in 38 appearances, split evenly between scoring and creating.
Another interesting factor in his evolution over the last year has been the fact that he has been deployed in a number of different roles for the Gunners, from left-back to right winger.
Arteta says that there is one quality that sets him apart from others amid the varying roles the 19-year-old has been asked to play this season.
“Intelligence,” Arteta told Sky Sports when asked about Saka’s top qualities.
“We talk about physicality, we talk about spirit, we talk about technique. But the brain is the one that makes all the decisions.
“‘B’ makes a lot of good decisions because he is such an intelligent player who can read situations. After that, of course, he has the ability to execute them the right way and that’s obviously a big quality.
“It took me a while to figure him out. That’s why I tried to play him in different positions, to see how he reacted.
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“I wanted to test his character as well because he was playing as a left-back and I know it wasn’t his ideal position but he had to go through that period.”
“We’ve seen how he can affect the game more and be a real threat. He has the quality to decide a football match.
“When you have that, you need to try to get the right position for him to be decisive as much as possible because then the team will be closer to winning more football matches.”