Mikel Arteta sets Arsenal star Cristiano Ronaldo challenge after saying he ‘has to improve’


Mikel Arteta has challenged Bukayo Saka to emulate his idol Cristiano Ronaldo and improve a key aspect of his game.

Saka has been in fine form for Arsenal this term and goes into Monday’s encounter against Sheffield United having netted seven goals in his last five games.

However, Arteta believes Saka can take his game to another level when it comes to goalscoring.

Saka grew up idolising Ronaldo, who began his career as a tricky winger before becoming one of the game’s greatest-ever marksmen.

And when asked if Saka should be looking to learn from Ronaldo’s scoring prowess, Arteta said: “I hope he is doing that because he can become much better.

“He can get in better positions still. His finishing, especially with certain circumstances, has to improve and his timing as well. So he can do better.”

Saka had struggled for goals before the mid-season break in January, having netted just once in seven games ahead of the Gunners’ trip to Dubai.

Arteta continued: “Is he being more efficient? The answer is yes and the impact that has had on the team in the last seven, or eight games has been really good.

“But [before the mid-season break] his overall play was still really high.”

Saka grew up idolising Ronaldo (Getty)
Saka grew up idolising Ronaldo (Getty)

Arsenal have seen their title charge get back on track after six consecutive victories. A win against Sheffield United would see them move to within two points of leaders Liverpool and a point adrift of second-placed City.

City and Liverpool meet at Anfield on Sunday and Arteta has claimed the winner of this year’s title will need at least 90 points.

“There are a lot of games and we are all going to have crazy schedules and this league might be different to last season,” the Spaniard said. “Anything under 90 points would be very difficult.

“The way I see them [Arsenal] training every day gives me more confidence to believe we have a good chance because they really want it.”


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