Bukayo Saka is the “go-to” player in Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad.
That is the view of former Gunners defender Martin Keown who has delivered his verdict on the 19-year-old who scored what could turn out to be an all-important away goal in their Europa League round of 32 first-leg tie against Benfica.
Saka was on hand to tap home from close range following great play between Martin Odegaard and Cedric Soares.
That is now six goals across all competition this season for the teenager and has nailed down a position on the right-hand side of a front three since Arsenal‘s win over Chelsea on Boxing Day.
And such is Saka’s importance to the north London outfit that Keown is of the opinion that the winger is capable of playing in any attacking role under Arteta.
“It’s Saka again,” Keown said on BT Sport. “It doesn’t really matter where you play Saka in all honesty.
“Left-back, right-wing, you could play him off the front if you want to. He times his run well.
“Look at this from Odegaard [pass to Cedric] lovely little defence-splitting pass, Cedric trusts his left-foot and we see there he’s just onside and it’s just a little tap-in.
“We saw in the first-half that miss from [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang.
“It’s Saka again the go-to player, the one now that you can rely on the most who gives a performance in every single match he plays for Arsenal.”
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Keown’s comments would suggest that Arteta has discovered his one true Arsenal untouchable following the first-leg draw against Benfica.
With that said, the Spaniard will need to manage the England international’s fitness carefully in the coming weeks in what is shaping up to be a season-defining period for the north London outfit.
Either side of next week’s second leg against Benfica, the Gunners face Manchester City and Leicester City as they look to climb the Premier League table to remain in contention for European qualification.