Wayne Rooney has claimed that Arsenal trio Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli have ‘moved up a gear’ under Mikel Arteta.
The Manchester United legend added that last season was a ‘great learning experience’ for these players, as he told The Times.
Arsenal missed out on Champions League football on the last day of the Premier League campaign, despite having several chances to secure that all-important top-four finish.
The likes of Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli were key members of the squad and they would have taken some serious mental blows as a result of that morale-crushing ending in May.
But sometimes it’s all about how you pick yourself up from the canvas and it’s fair to say that Arteta and his ever-progressing young guns are exploding like never before.
It has left a certain England and Premier League legend seriously impressed, as Rooney had this to say about Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli.
“At the same time, it looks like last season was a great learning experience for the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli, who have moved up a gear,” said Rooney.
“When Arsenal attack, they have runs coming from different angles. Saka and Martinelli come from the sides and Odegaard from deep.
“They rotate well in their forward positions and Jesus sometimes drifts out of the No 9 spot to end up wide or deeper, and then you have Saka or Martinelli or another player coming into the spaces he leaves.”
The Premier League’s recent dominant top two – Manchester City and Liverpool – dropped points once again on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp watched his side fail to break down a resilient, aggressive and pumped-up Everton team for the Merseyside derby, as the duo shared the spoils at Goodison Park.
Whilst the Premier League champions, despite having the in-form Erling Haaland on their books, couldn’t see past Steven Gerrard’s struggling Aston Villa.
It now means that if Arsenal can secure three points at Old Trafford on Sunday, then the Gunners will open a four-point lead on second-placed Manchester City.