Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sets Cristiano Ronaldo challenge to Bukayo Saka


Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta has set a challenge for Bukayo Saka, saying he "can become much better" and could even match the goal-scoring prowess of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo, who is known for his incredible scoring record, netted 25 goals in his final season with Manchester United in 2008-09.

England star Saka currently has 16 goals and 13 assists to his name, including seven goals in his last five Premier League games. When asked if Saka could reach Ronaldo's 25-season total, Arteta said: "I hope he is doing that, because he can become much better. I think he can get in better positions still. His finishing, especially with certain surfaces,, has to improve and his timing as well. So he can do better."

Despite only scoring once in 11 games during October and November, Saka is now on a hot streak.

Arteta added: "Players have moments. You can analyse just the attacking stats or the goals or assists. Then you make the judgement because of that, that's it. But his overall play, contribution and the way he was affecting the game was still really high. Is he now being more efficient? The answer is yes. The impact he's had in the last seven or eight games has been really good. I'm really happy to have a player in form."

With Thomas Partey back in the squad to face Sheffield United tonight, Arteta said he welcomes facing tricky selection decisions in a squad now close to full strength.

"Yes - but having that option as well," added the Spaniard. "And, first of all, putting always the intention of what is the best way to hurt this opponent, and what is the best line-up to give us the best chance to win the game. Then there is always the difficulty of putting one player on the bench over starting another, but I think we are going to have a lot of time and a lot of minutes for players in the next three months."

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