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Mikel Arteta sends Bukayo Saka message to Arsenal players

Mikel Arteta has been speaking about the harsh treatment Bukayo Saka receives.

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The Arsenal star is in superb form this season for the Gunners.

But Saka has also been on the receiving end of some rough treatment from many a defender this season.

During Arsenal’s recent drubbing of Nottingham Forest, Saka was taken off inside the first half after suffering a knock brought on by harsh tackles.

Such treatment has caught the eye of many an Arsenal fan, including Ian Wright:

“We’ve got to talk about Saka. The man is getting kicked to bits, man,” Wright said on his podcast, Wrighty’s House.

“He’s getting kicked to bits. There’s only been one booking for challenges on Saka this season. We need to start protecting these players.”

“The referees have the duties to deal with that,” said Arteta. “The better the players become the bigger target they become because people try and find ways to stop him, that is why football has very clear rules, what you can do and what you cannot do and that is the referees job.”

Supporters have argued the onus is one the referees to protect Saka, but Arteta believes his teammates can help too:

“There is a part we can do better and we have to be more intelligent,” said Arteta.

“You can see at a certain point it becomes about the timing, the decision making, in the space you have generated before that action, and the understanding and knowledge of what is going to happen before it happens.

“Sometimes the type of ball we give him and when we give him certain balls.”

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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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