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Bukayo Saka reveals efforts to maintain attacking spark as Arsenal star deals with close attention

Bukayo Saka has been rewatching his games this season so he can find a solution to teams doubling up on him.

The Arsenal winger has been a marked man this year, with opponents routinely deploying two defenders to deny him space.

Saka had that on Saturday against Brentford, but he finally found some space in the 89th minute and set-up Kai Havertz’s winner with an excellent cross.

England winger Saka has contributed six goals and nine assists this season - more than any other Arsenal player - and he puts that down to rewatching and analysing all of his games.

“I feel like a lot of games I’m facing a double team with two guys on me and it’s the same for Gabi (Martinelli),” said Saka.

Arsenal moved top of the table with victory over Brentford (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arsenal moved top of the table with victory over Brentford (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“It’s happening in every game. I keep watching all my games back trying to find a solution, what I can do better.

“In the end I just feel like I need to understand that this is how it’s going to be this season and I just need to deal with it and keep finding a way like I did today. That’s what I need to keep doing.”

Arsenal put in another solid defensive display to beat Brentford 1-0 and go top of the Premier League.

The Gunners have conceded just 10 goals in 13 League games and they have the best defence in the top-flight. They have struggled in attack, though, and only Tottenham and Manchester United have scored fewer goals of the teams currently in the top eight.

“The managers know a bit more how we play and it’s up to us to adapt in each game and to find a solution,” said Saka.

“Of course, each game is different but we know that we can be a lot better. We’re especially working on breaking teams down, but we’re still getting really good results and we’re top of the league. So we can be really happy.”

Bukayo Saka has backed Arsenal to peak at the right time this season (Getty Images)
Bukayo Saka has backed Arsenal to peak at the right time this season (Getty Images)

Arsenal started at a canter last season and were top of the Premier League for a staggering 248 days. They faded at the end, however, and Manchester City ending up pipping them to the title.

And asked if the Gunners’ steady start means they can now peak in April and May this time around, Saka said: “Well, I hope that’s the case.

“Right now we’re getting good results, we’re top of the League and we’re only going to keep progressing, improving and getting better as a team. We have some injured players who are going to be back and at the business end of the season I really hope we can push on and do really well.

“It’s nice to be back on top. We had to fight hard today to achieve that but we’re satisfied with the win and the three points.

“It (Havertz’s late winner against Brentford) shows we’re going to keep going until the end in each and every game. It also shows it’s not been easy for us. We’ve faced a lot of low blocks and teams that want to sit.

“Credit to Brentford, they defended really well. So it took all the way to the end for us to find a breakthrough, but we managed to do it so we’re happy.”