Sunday, March 26, 2023

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka outlines major Pep Guardiola mistake amid Manchester City title race

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has outlined how Oleksandr Zinchenko has changed the squad since his arrival, proving the mistake Pep Guardiola made in letting the defender leave last summer. The Ukraine international has helped transform the Gunners from top four outsiders to genuine title challengers.

Playing as an inverted full-back, the 26-year-old has been a key part of the side that has continued to pick up results under Mikel Arteta. Zinchenko revealed just a few days ago that he made a private vow to join the Spaniard after he left Manchester City a few years ago.

He told the Daily Mail: “I remember when Mikel was leaving City, I didn’t hold my emotions. I couldn’t because this guy was so special to me. He taught me a lot, as a human being he was incredible and the way he was working with us young players after every single training session, the advice he was giving everyone, was something incredibly important for me

“I said to my circle: ‘If one day I’m going to leave City and I’m going to stay in the Premier League, it will be only one manager: Mikel Arteta.'”

Zinchenko certainly fulfilled that wish by joining Arsenal in the summer, which is a move that is increasingly looking like good business from the north London club. That being the case, it could be a huge mistake from Guardiola in the title race, something outlined by Saka.

The Arsenal winger said ahead of England’s European Championship qualifier with Ukraine tonight (Sunday): “Zinchenko has brought quality – but he’s brought so much more. You can see how he plays and how he controls the game. He’s an outstanding player. He has great leadership qualities, so he’s really helping us on all fronts.

“They [Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus] have brought that winning mentality to us as players who have been there and won the league. In difficult moments they know how it feels, they can encourage us because we have a lot of young players. They really help us with the mental side of things.”

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