Arsenal have been told that they have a player at the club that is comparable to Bukayo Saka, after Mikel Arteta used the 1-0 win away to Bodo/Glimt to rotate his side in the Europa League. A number of fringe players were used in the victory, including Brazilian starlet Marquinhos.
The 19-year-old came on for captain Martin Odegaard with 20 minutes remaining in Norway, as Saka’s deflected goal sealed all three points as the north London side sit top of their European group with a perfect record so far. Ahead of another cameo, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown praised Marquinhos and suggested that the teenager is capable of big things in the future.
“The other players that are not actually playing at the weekends can implement the same ideas and copy, really. It’s all being moulded in the same way. That’s really been impressive,” Keown told BT Sport. “Marquinhos is not playing tonight but he played in that very first game in Europe exceptionally well. It was like Saka in that position, it’s almost a copycat performance. That’s what you’re really looking for.”
The Brazilian has played in each Europa League game this season, with the victory over Bodo/Glimt the first of the three in which he has not started, having got a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win over FC Zurich last month.
“He’s very popular, with no English, just with his smile and attitude. He has earned the respect and admiration of everybody here. It was a big step for him because he hasn’t played enough minutes with us but we were willing to give him the opportunity.
“I think he deserved it, I think he took it really well and he’s a player that needs to keep developing and in order to do that we need to give him opportunities. We want to build the steps and when we have asked him to play with the under-21s he’s done incredibly well.
“The attitude with every coach and player has been seen as ‘It can’t be any better’. That’s what we expect from the players so that’s why he got his chance against Zurich and he might get another chance very soon.”