Every word Mikel Arteta said on Aubameyang’s peformance, Saka’s form and Benfica


Frustrating with the chances you had but an all-round dominant performance. How do you sum up the game?

Yes exactly that. I think we had to leave the stadium today with much more than what we have right now. Everything is completely open till next Thursday.

We have some positives to take from the game because we dominated the game and we had patches of really good moments where we created some big chances.

We weren’t ruthless enough in the opponents’ box and the disappointing thing obviously is the way we concede the goal.

Auba scored a hattrick on Sunday but missed some big chances tonight. What do you put that down to?

Well, these thing happen. He was at the end of the biggest chances that we had tonight. He was a real threat again that’s why we played him today against this opponent with the line that they proposed all the time.

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He was unlucky not to score two or three tonight because in normal circumstances that would be the case.

BukayoSaka is becoming more important and stepped up while everyone else is struggling to find the net?

I think he’s in a great moment, he’s full of confidence, he’s been really important in recent results. His form is the highest probably since I’ve been here and he’s been really consistent.

He needs to keep going and doing what he’s doing because at the moment he’s a really important part of the team.

How much of a challenge is it balancing the fact that Saka is a really important player with the reality that he is a teenager?

I think we have to protect him and keep expectations where they should be. But I’m not gonna put a break in his development or what he can do week in week out.

I think we have to support him, give him the best possible advice all the time and then manage his minutes so he can maintain this level.

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Is it hard to manage his minutes when you know your team is better with Bukayo on the pitch?

It is at the moment because he’s been a real threat, he’s involved in a lot of goals all the time and the consistency of the performances makes him a starter obviously.

It’s a fine balance, but at the same time when he is 19-years-old we have to protect him.





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