Mikel Arteta told who his first name on the team sheet should be as Arsenal stumble again

Arsenal put on another stuttering display at home, a last-gasp equaliser from Eddie Nketiah sparing Mikel Arteta’s blushes after his side spent much of the second half losing to relegation-threatened Fulham.

Josh Maja’s penalty just before the hour mark meant Arsenal were playing catch up to Scott Parker’s side, who have already taken points off Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on their travels.

Arsenal dominated proceedings, but struggled to turn their large amount of possession into clear cut chances, with the very few openings coming from teen sensation Bukayo Saka.

This supports the claims of Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards, who heaped praised on the 19-year-old winger.

The former Manchester City defender said: “Look at Saka, 19 years of age. He’s probably the number one on the team sheet, he has to be.

“He can play in a variety of positions, we’ve seen him on the right, the left, at full-back, but he plays every position so well at such a young age and when he’s not in the team, Arsenal do not look the same.

“I’m happy to see his improvement, because when he first came into the team, we did not know what sort of player he was going to be.

“He’s technically very good, he’s quick, he can link it up, he’s like an old school Arsenal player from back in their glory days.”

Saka has five Premier League goals thus far this season, with a further two in the Europa League, but it is his ability to create chances out of nothing that makes him so valuable to Mikel Arteta’s side.

The youngster’s presence will be vital if Arsenal harbour any hopes of winning the Europa League, as the north London outfit prepare to take on a familiar face in Unai Emery’s Villareal in the semi-finals of the competition in just under a fortnight’s time.

 

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