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Saka: Luiz has a big heart and is helpful to Arsenal youngsters

23:04 GMT+3 02/07/2020
Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2019-20
The Anglo-Nigerian teenager has cited the Brazilian as a source of help at the Emirates Stadium

Bukayo Saka has mentioned David Luiz as the Arsenal player that has been most helpful to him.

The 18-year-old put pen to paper on a new contract that will tie him to the Emirates Stadium until 2024. He had a year left to run on his previous deal and it looked as though he was not going to commit.

Luiz on his path had committed an extra year having joined from Chelsea last summer. The Brazilian has drawn criticism from fans and pundits. His display in the 3-0 defeat by Manchester City where he caused a goal and also got a red card was such an example.

Coach Mikel Arteta, however, sees the Brazilian as an important player and so does Saka.

“I would say a lot of them have been really helpful. It would be unfair to really pick people out and stuff like that because since I've come there, I've felt welcomed, I've felt loved,” Saka was quoted saying in the Express.

"Now they feel like brothers to me and I can speak to them, I can say anything to them and they'll always be there for me.

"But one player, in particular, I would have to say is probably David Luiz.

"He's a man with a big heart and he just has so much experience in the game as well.

"He goes out of his way all the time to advise and help all the young players.

"I'm sure if you asked them as well they will tell you how much he is there to support us.

"He is a very important member of our squad."

The Anglo-Nigerian has played 37 times in all competitions since making his debut in 2018. The current campaign has been his breakout season with three goals and 10 assists in the 34 matches. He has played a more dominant role under Mikel Arteta, showing his versatility in playing at left-back during a period when Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac were out injured.

“Bukayo is a talented and intelligent young player. He has impressed me with his work ethic and attitude to learn and adapt, and it has paid off in his performances,” Arteta said when Saka’s new contract was announced.

“I am excited to continue working with him to develop him further, and for him to help us achieve our goals.”

Former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand meanwhile is of the opinion Arteta should build the Arsenal squad around players like Saka because of his commitment.

“I think Arsenal need people with the right attitude, right character and people that want to be at the club,” the 41-year old told BT Sport.

“Looking at his statement [Saka], he buys into the philosophy, and he wants to move forward with the club.

“I would build the club around him, around players like [Joe] Willock.

“The badge means something to these boys. They need to move forward together.”