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Arteta expects ‘strong character’ Saka to bounce back after racist abuse

Bukayo Saka - Arsenal
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The 19-year-old has been a target of offensive comments on social media ever since his penalty miss for England in the Euro 2020 final.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expects “strong character” Bukayo Saka to bounce back from the racist abuse he has received.

Saka stepped up for the crucial fifth spot-kick during the penalty shootouts between Italy and England in the Euro 2020 final.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho had missed their spot-kicks prior to him, and Saka’s penalty represented pretty much a do-or-die situation for England.

The lively Wembley crowd was rendered speechless as the teenage winger’s shot was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, which resulted in Italy lifting the trophy.

Racist abuse has since been directed at all three players who failed to convert in the shootout, with the offensive messages prompting widespread condemnation and a police investigation.

“Yes, I have. We all have, I think, spoken to him, sent messages,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“He will be fine. He is such a strong character. He has received a lot of love and support from world football, not only with Arsenal but the national team and all the English fans because he doesn’t deserve anything like [what] he has been through.”