Bukayo Saka was the only Arsenal player to play all the 38 League matches last season. This indicates the trust that Mikel Arteta has invested in the player in delivering the much needed results. And true to the calling ,Saka was the most influential player in the squad last season if not Martin Odegaard. The 20 year old turned out to be the most prolific player at club level both in the scoring and assisting categories.
While at it however, Mikel Arteta neglected the role of Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson who was shipped to Feyenoord at the start of last season. Arteta cannot however be entirely blamed for favoring the youngster because Saka seldom underperformed and therefore benching him would have been unfair. The fact that Arteta can stick with one player for a whole entire season challenges the other players to pull up their socks and be consistent in their perfomances.
Speaking of sticking to the plan, Mikel Arteta recently said that Arsenal finishing at fifth last season was not an underachievement. He said that going by the effort the players made throughout the season, they deserved to finish where they were and he is proud of that. He further pointed out that comfortably securing a place in the European league was a great feat unlike the past two seasons where Arsenal had to be extra cautious in their last matches.
While it is true that Arsenal were a bit frantic in their last matches of the season, the players evidently played their part by the results they managed to squeeze out. Losing to Tottenham and Newcastle United was never planned but the oppositions proved to be the better teams especially since they were playing in their home grounds.
Ben White has really managed to get the Arsenal support behind him in one season. Something which was not considered possible by many. He has really set the standards high for the other defenders and that is the kind of player profile that fans are gingerly about. Next season is going to be a big shift for the defender, and many are hoping that he will live up to the expectations.
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