Arteta to talk Saka with Southgate after second successive 3000-minute season with Arsenal

Date published: Saturday 21st May 2022 11:31 - News Desk

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives Bukayo Saka some instructions

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be holding conversations with England manager Gareth Southgate about his plans for Bukayo Saka this summer.

The Spaniard admitted that, after two particularly gruelling seasons for the Gunners youngster, a period of rest is much-needed.

Saka has played 3281 minutes for Arsenal this season after 3606 minutes last season followed by an international tournament.

“He needs a break, that is for sure. He has played a lot of minutes this season and he played a lot of minutes last season,” Arteta said.

“You expect your important players to do so, to have that ability and show the quality that Bukayo has shown consistently throughout the season.

“But obviously you have to bear in mind that at some stage he needs to rest. That is something we really need to think about, the plans for him in the summer.”

Asked whether he would be addressing this issue with Southgate, Arteta, whose side face Everton on Sunday attempting to keep alive their faint hopes of Champions League qualification, added: “Yes. We are going to do that.

“We are going to talk to every manager that is responsible for our players (about) how they are thinking, show them what they have done, how we have done it and what we expect them to do in the future as well.

“Everything has to be connected and related to the aim of protecting the player and getting the best out of the player.”


Transfer gossip: Manchester United eye Leeds bargain; Arsenal make Saka exception


With the season set to finish on Sunday, Arsenal are already looking ahead to their summer transfer window and the changes they could make.

The Gunners spent £149million last summer, bringing in the likes of Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale, who quickly became regular starters.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale appeals to the referee

On the budget for the upcoming transfer window, Arteta admitted: “We are going to have certain resources, not unlimited resources, and with the resources we have to play and do what we have to do in the best possible way.

“We don’t know what the rest will have but obviously it will be challenging because now it is not a top three, it is a top eight, but that is why we have to find a way to do again what we did last summer.

“I think the market as well is going to have a big implication there. I don’t know how the market is going to act, what the prices are going to be and what we’re going to be able to do.

“Obviously there is no question that playing in the Champions League it is easier to attract players, easier financially, so there are pluses.”

Consecutive defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle have left the Gunners hopes of a top-four finish largely reliant on an already-relegated Norwich clinching a win against Spurs on the final day.

A point for Antonio Conte’s men at Carrow Road would secure them a place in the Champions League, but if they were to lose and Arsenal beat Everton, Arteta’s side would trump their north London rivals.

While it remains unlikely, the 40-year-old is adamant that his young team have still made plenty of progress over the last season but knows they are “very far away” from Manchester City and Liverpool.

Arteta said: “The league table doesn’t lie after 38 games and the league table says we are very far away from first and second position, not only in points but in goal difference. That is the level we have to try to aim and reach.”

More Related Articles