Mikel Arteta thanks Gareth Southgate for helping Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka recover from penalty heartache

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·2-min read
Mikel Arteta thanks Gareth Southgate for helping Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka recover from penalty heartache
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Mikel Arteta has hailed Gareth Southgate for helping Bukayo Saka bounce back from his Euro 2020 nightmare to the extent he is now taking penalties for Arsenal.

Saka suffered heartbreak during last year’s Euro 2020 final when he missed the decisive spot-kick as England lost to Italy on penalties.

The 20-year-old has put that incident behind him, though, and he is Arsenal’s top scorer this season after finding the net 12 times.

Saka has also started taking penalties for Arsenal, scoring in each of their last two games, and Arteta has praised Southgate’s role in the winger’s revival.

“The first two conversations that I had were straight after the incident,” said Arteta.

“But I must say that Gareth Southgate was really helpful as well, because he had Bukayo in his hands at that moment and they were really caring, really supportive of him.

“So by the time he joined us, he was in a really good place and obviously what he got is all the support and love and help in any way that he needed it to overcome that situation.

“Then it is down to him, his family and the people around that I think were very important as well.”

Arsenal are back in action on Sunday, when they travel to West Ham, and they are hoping to cement their position of fourth in the Premier League.

Arteta has confirmed that Saka will be ready to take a penalty in the game if required to step up.

“Tomorrow if someone has to take a penalty I think he will take it again but it happened quite naturally in the Chelsea game,” Southgate added.

“He took it and the next game we had another one and hopefully he can continue to put the ball in the net.”

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