Mikel Arteta warns Southgate against overplaying Saka

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants youngster Bukayo Saka to rest when Gareth Southgate calls him up for the England squad.

Saka’s impressive performance for Arsenal this season saw him earn a nomination for the Premier League Player of the Year award, and he is the team’s top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.

However, the player has looked tired in recent games having made 102 appearances for club and country since the start of last season and has barely had a break during that period, having played a bigger than expected role in England reaching the Euro 2020 final. Summer and Arteta feel he needs to break.

“He needs a break, that’s for sure. He played a lot of minutes this season and he played a lot of minutes last season. You expect your important players to do that, have that ability, and show the quality that Bukayo has consistently shown throughout the season.

“But obviously you have to keep in mind that at some point he needs a rest. And that’s something we really need to think about, plans for in the summer.”

“We will talk to every coach responsible for our players – how they think, show them what they did, how we did it, and what we expect them to do in the future as well.

“Everything has to be connected and connected with the goal of protecting the player and getting the best out of the player,” Arteta added.

Arsenal blew up an opportunity to finish in the top four when they lost to Newcastle in their last game and need to beat Everton on the final day and hope that Norwich will keep Tottenham if they want to return to the Champions League.