Saka

Bukayo Saka has crept into the hearts of Arsenal fans around the world with his devilish football and infectious smile. 

Still only 20, the sky seems to be the limit for the versatile Hale End product. Here’s a quick look at what makes him such a special talent.

Saka is surprisingly steely

Bukayo Saka is often smiling, conveying wholesome, positive energy to teammates and fans but an underrated side of his game is the steeliness that he has developed on the pitch. Often a target for fouls because of his quick feet and dribbling ability, Saka gets up and dusts himself off with minimum fuss when taken down by opponents that often cannot live with his pace and trickery.

Big personality

Ever since he made his Arsenal debut, Saka has appeared fearless and unfazed by the big occasion, even as a fledgling teenager. Possessing a calmness on the big stage is a rare commodity, and Saka certainly has that X-factor in abundance. Adored by teammates and fans, Bukayo Saka has a wonderful support base from which to flourish in London.

Versatility

One of the major reasons that Saka was called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 is his astounding versatility, especially for one so young. He started out as a wide attacker in North London but was regularly deployed as Arsenal’s left-back in 2020-21, either as a conventional fullback in a back four or as a marauding wing-back on that flank.

This season, Saka is being utilized almost exclusively as a right-sided attacker in Arsenal’s modified 4-3-3, where he cuts in off his favoured left foot. That being said, he’s very comfortable on his right foot. Yet another string to his bow.

Hale End chemistry

Mikel Arteta will be delighted with Saka’s progress that runs parallel to that of Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal’s playmaker and number 10 who is close friends with Saka and also still 20 years old. The pair came through Arsenal’s famed Hale End academy together.

Two of the four players aged 21 or younger to create more than 10 chances in the Premier League this season are Smith Rowe (13) and Saka (14). This bodes incredibly well for the club and its fans, who love nothing more than seeing players come through their academy and star in the top-flight.

100 up for Arsenal & major milestones

It’s incredible to think that Saka has already brought up his century of appearances in an Arsenal jersey. He brought up his 100 at the weekend against Leicester in an impressive 2-0 away win for the Gunners.

Saka’s Arsenal landmarks

  • 29 November 2018: First team debut (vs Vorskla). 
  • 01 January 2019: Premier League debut (vs Fulham).
  • 19 September 2019: First goal in the first team (vs Eintracht Frankfurt).
  • 30 October 2021: 100th appearance (vs Leicester).

Follow Arsenal vs Watford this coming Sunday where Saka will be eager to help extend his team’s unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight matches.

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