Arteta hails Southgate for support given to Saka after penalty miss

Mikel Arteta hails England boss Gareth Southgate for the ‘support and love’ he showed Bukayo Saka after the Arsenal star missed decisive penalty in Euro 2020 final loss to Italy

  • Bukayo Saka missed the decisive penalty for England in the Euro 2020 final
  • Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also failed from the spot in loss to Italy
  • But Saka has shown mental resilience with recent penalties for club Arsenal 
  • His manager Mikel Arteta has thanked England boss Gareth Southgate  

Mikel Arteta has praised the role England manager Gareth Southgate played in helping Bukayo Saka get over his Euro 2020 penalty heartache.

Saka has stepped up to take and score crucial penalties in Arsenal’s last two games after seeing his decisive kick saved in last summer’s final against Italy, an incident which was followed by the Arsenal star, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford – who were also unsuccessful from the spot at Wembley – suffering sickening online racist abuse.

England manager Gareth Southgate consoles Bukayo Saka after he missed the decisive kick in the penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020

Arsenal player Saka saw his spot-kick repelled by Italy keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma 

Saka’s willingness to put himself back on the spot says plenty about the mental resolve the 20 year-old possesses and Arteta said: ‘The first two conversations I had with him were straight after the incident but I must say that Gareth Southgate was really helpful as well because he had Bukayo in his hands in that moment and they were really caring and really supportive of him so by the time he joined us he was already in a really good place and obviously he got his whole support and love and help in any way that he needed it to overcome that situation and then it is down to him, his family and the people around him, I think they were very important as well.’

Alexandre Lacazette had been Arsenal’s most recent penalty taker before Saka took over in the Frenchman’s absence, putting himself in pole position to continue.

Saka has shown his mental resilience by converting penalties in recent games for Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has thanked Southgate for the ‘support and love’ shown to Saka

Arteta said: ‘Tomorrow if someone has to take a penalty I think he will take it again but it happened quite naturally in the Chelsea game. 

‘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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