Mikel Arteta urges England boss Gareth Southgate to look after Bukayo Saka at Euro 2020

Mikel Arteta urges England boss Gareth Southgate to look after Bukayo Saka at Euro 2020

Mikel Arteta wants Gareth Southgate to take care of Bukayo Saka when he selects the Arsenal teenager for England's Euro 2020 squad this week.

The 19-year-old Londoner plays his 50th game of the season as Arsenal host Brighton on Sunday and Arteta is hoping England boss Southgate returns his brightest prospect intact.

'There is a risk [of burn out],' Arteta acknowledged. 'The schedule we have had in the last two years has been crazy. But he's handled that situation really, really well.

'I know Gareth. He's brilliant at managing his players well. I've spoken to him about it. We just hope they do the right thing.'

Only Manchester City have won more points than Arsenal since Christmas when they were close to the relegation zone. They could finish seventh with a win.

Saka has been key to that as he prepares to add to his four England caps next month.

'He is very determined to go and help his country on this incredible occasion,' Arteta added. 'He needs to enjoy that because he has earned every right to be there. Enjoy it and good things will happen.'

Saka's versatility is central to his talent and the job how best to deploy him now falls to Southgate.

'He has played really well on occasions in the back four as a full-back. He's been exceptional for me on the right wing and has been really good as a wing-back as well.

'Having great versatility for him has made him a different player. He's really intelligent and he can pick things up really very quickly.

'And we will mould him into the position we want him to play more and more.'

Some 10,000 Arsenal fans return to the stadium today and more are planning a pre-match protest against the club's American owners.

Arteta concluded: 'My only focus is to make the right decision to help the team to win football matches. What is the moment, what is out there in opinions, I respect them all.

'But it is not my job to answer to any of that. You have to be very critical of yourself but don't lose sight of what you want to achieve.'

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