Craig Burley thinks Bukayo Saka is a ‘marked man’ with opposition players as he spoke about the ‘punishment’ the Arsenal star takes.
The 22-year-old is perhaps Mikel Arteta’s most important player and a constant starter for Arsenal.
But despite taking ‘a lot of punishment’ from the opposition, Craig Burley praised Bukayo Saka for ‘soaking’ it all up and carrying on with the game, as he told ESPN.
In a way, it’s a sign of respect because he is targeted in such a manner because of how good he is.
Plus, it probably means that the opposition value Bukayo Saka as the one to stop for Arsenal, even though they have a host of attacking talent on show.
Either way, ex-Scotland international Burley shared the type of punishments Saka takes on a regular basis during games.
Bukayo Saka treatment
“The other thing I always notice with Saka is the way that he plays, when he comes to get the ball with his back to play, he takes a lot of punishment,” said Burley.
“A lot of players do. But he soaks up that punishment down the calves and the achilles, a lot! He gets a lot of racking of the calves and achilles.
“Some people will say ‘well, everybody gets that’. Everybody doesn’t get that. It just depends on how you prepare to take the ball, obviously, he is a marked man because of his talents, so whenever he plays the better teams or any team in the Premier League, they are really getting tight on him.
“But, to be fair to him, he picks himself up. Brushes himself down and gets on with it again.”
First name on the Arsenal teamsheet?
It would be interesting to see who fans would consider as the first name on the Arsenal teamsheet because there would be some contenders.
The captain Martin Odegaard would certainly be a name thrown about, as well as their ice-cool centre-back Wiliam Saliba.
Whilst others would want to put forward the ever-reliable and consistent, Bukayo Saka as well.
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