Owen Hargreaves has heaped praise on Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli started for Arsenal against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Whilst neither produced their greatest ever performance against the Red Devils, both were a threat to Erik ten Hag’s men throughout. Martinelli, in particular, persistently drove at the Manchester United rearguard with purpose and was rewarded with an assist for Martin Odegaard’s goal.

As per WhoScored’s stats, the Brazilian left-winger completed five dribbles and managed three shots. He engaged Aaron Wan-Bissaka in a one-on-one battle throughout the match, and won a number of corners from that duel.

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On the opposite flank, Diego Dalot had to be at his best to deal with Saka. Even then, the 22-year-old ought to have scored when he was presented with a great chance from close range in the second half, but shot straight at Andre Onana. However, the England man made up for his miss by setting up Declan Rice’s 96th minute winner.

Saka and Martinelli are two of Arsenal’s star assets, and Mikel Arteta has built his squad with the young attacking pair central in his plans. 

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Hargreaves highlights Arsenal pair

Former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes that plenty of clubs will be jealous of the Gunners’ duo, not least the Red Devils themselves. 

Speaking to Premier League Productions (04/09/23 at 2:15 pm), Hargreaves said, “look at your wingers [compared to Manchester United’s], you have Saka and Martinelli. Both players, they go one v one, they can beat anyone in the world. United have wingers, who one v one, they aren’t at their best. They have to come inside. I do think that has an impact on how the team plays. I watch Martinelli and Saka. I think ‘wow, those guys are just absolute diamonds’.”

Erik ten Hag has the likes of Marcus Rashford, Antony, Jadon Sancho, and Alejandro Garnacho at his disposal to play on the flanks at Old Trafford. Rashford is a star, and Garnacho shows promise, but Antony and Sancho have both struggled since coming to the club in big money moves.

Arteta will be well aware of how lucky he is to have Saka and Martinelli on the books at Arsenal, and fans of the club know that the pair have the capacity to go on to enjoy very special and successful careers at the highest level.

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