After recently signing his long-term contract extension, Bukayo Saka has spoke about the feeling of losing the Premier League title to Manchester City this season.
Saka became the highest-paid player at Arsenal on Tuesday, signing a contract that earns him £300,000 a week, including bonuses. The four-year deal is a sign of ambition from the Gunners to push for the title again next season.
Arsenal lead the way at the top for over 250 days this season, however when the pressure mounted, Mikel Arteta’s young side crumbled and Manchester City were there to gain the advantage and win their third Premier League title in a row. Pep Guardiola’s side won 12 Premier League games in a row, where as Arsenal have only won two out of their last eight games.
Bukayo Saka admitted the pain is the main feeling right now but he believes overall optimism should be the story.
Saka told Arsenal legend, Ian Wright: “We’re going in the right direction; I have seen a lot of change [over the years]. Obviously speaking, about this season, it hurts a lot.”
“It really hurts so much to even think about how we’ve ended this season and what could have been. But one thing I can say is, like you said, since the last two or three years that I’ve been playing, I’ve seen this team and the club grow.”
“Time is on our side. You can look at our team and a lot of the players are young. We’re hungry, and a lot of us haven’t won trophies at Arsenal so we want to achieve big things. If you watch the way we all speak, we want to win and we want to win here.”
The 21-year-old has been one of Arsenal best players this season, recording 24 goal contributions in the Premier League throughout 2022/23. Saka has also been nominated for Premier League player of the season and Premier League young player of the season – a sign of how good of a season he’s had this year.
Mikel Arteta has warned Saka about the dangers of being targeted by defenders with nasty tackles and more foul play because of his high skill level. Despite the targeting, Saka has made an appearance in every single Premier League game this season and has started every game except vs Leeds United at home. Saka commented on the targeting and downplayed the dangers:
“Listen, I’m fine. I don’t think you really need to worry about me. I think I have everything in place to be healthy, be on the pitch week in, week out. I’ve been able to play every game this season despite all the games and tackles, and so on and so forth.”
Arsenal will face Wolves in their last Premier League game of the season this weekend.