Arsenal are entering the final stretch of the Premier League season. The Gunners have passed almost every test they’ve been given this season. Many had anticipated that Mikel Arteta’s men would falter at some point in the season yet they continue to ace every exam they face. Liverpool icon John Barnes sat down with BonusCodeBets to discuss the form of Bukayo Saka and Ben White. He also addressed transfer rumours linking Kaoru Mitoma with a move to The Emirates this summer.
Buakyo Saka’s next step is to be consistent for Arsenal says John Barnes
Bukayo Saka has had a tremendous season for club and country so far. The Hale End academy graduate continues to grow by the week with his on the field performances. At 21 years of age there is still so much scope for development in his game. Barnes claims Saka’s improvement shouldn’t be based on his ability to increase his goal tally. Instead, Barnes says for Saka progress in his game would be displaying his current form over a number of seasons.
“He has to perform consistently. Improvement is not necessarily scoring 40 goals in a season, improvement can also be to perform consistently over a longer period of time.”
“He is already working hard, creating chances and scoring goals but he has to do it week in and week out.”
“So, I don’t necessarily think that he is going to be a better footballer than what he is now but he needs to show that he can do it over 7-8-9 seasons.”
“He has to continue what he is already doing.”
Arsenal’s Ben White gets it right says Barnes
The reintegration of centre-back William Saliba in the summer presented manager Mikel Arteta with a welcomed dilemma regarding what to do with Ben White. White, who had joined the Gunners for £50m the summer before and had established himself as one of the two main centre-backs, has found himself playing at right-back this season, providing Arsenal with significant tactical flexibility. Barnes has been impressed with how White has adapted to his new role.
“Ben White has given Arsenal some defensive strength. Arsenal has been a bit thrills at the back previously. But he is a very good defender and he gives a lot to the balance of the team.”
“No, he is not a Trent Alexander-Arnold who runs up and down the line all the time but he gives them something different, which allows the attacking players to focus more on the attacking parts of the game.”
“He makes Arsenal feel comfortable when the opponents put in crosses because he normally is a centre half.”
Arsenal would be a step up for Mitoma says Barnes
Kaoru Mitoma has also been linked with a move to Manchester City and Arsenal in the summer. Recently, Barnes stated that a transfer to Manchester United may not necessarily be a step forward for the player. Nevertheless, Barnes believes that Mitoma’s career would make good progress if he were to secure a regular playing role at either Manchester City or Arsenal.
“It would be great for him to move to Man City or Arsenal but only if he is going to play. Not if he is going to be on the bench. Every player would like a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona but it’s not a step up if you’re sitting on the bench.”
“From a club perspective Man United, Man City and Arsenal would be a step up but it’s not a step up if he is going to sit on the bench.”
“He has to ask himself if he can perform like this regularly and he should maybe focus on staying at Brighton for 2-3 years. He has only been here for one year but if he can continue to do that, then he can take the step up at the right time to one of the big clubs.”
“The problem is that you’re not guaranteed as a player that you can perform consistently for two or three years and that is the reason why a lot of players move after one year. They know that they might only get one chance to make a move to a big club.”