Bukayo Saka: Arsenal’s model student has a bright future
Jamie Carragher marvelled at hiscomposure and caliber on the chunk. The notoriously hard-to-please Roy Keane talked up hislovely performance. Even his acceptance was lent by Cesc Fabregas. Saka is a player, he composed Twitter. Eighteen years old and showing amazing maturity.
Arsenal and Manchester Uniteds 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last month was a drab affair, another reminder of how far the 2 clubs have fallen since the days of the epic rivalry. To get Bukayo Saka it also provided a platform to enhance a fast growing reputation.
At 18 decades and 25 days old, and making his seventh appearance for Arsenal, Saka became the youngest player to begin a Premier League game between the two sides. And at a floor where players far older than himve crumbled, there was slight evidence of their inexperience.
In fact, Sakas starting spot now appears more secure than that of the #72m Nicolas Pepe. Unai Emery explained Saka as ansignificant player after the Manchester United game and began him in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth. The academy graduate will likely be confident of keeping his place from Sheffield United on Monday Night Football.
And why should not he be?
Saka provided the first glimpses of his raw talent last year – most notably with his man-of-the-match showing against Qarabag from the Europa League – but, similar to one of his own driving runs Arsenals left flank, his advancement has gained momentum in the new campaign.
The winger scored his first senior goal in the 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt a month, finding the bottom corner using a curling end from 25 yards out, and there have also been three aids, for instance, smart through-ball to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyangs equaliser in Old Trafford.
Its that ability which has propelled Saka to the spotlight, so moving him graduates Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock at Emerys pecking order, but what is just as reassuring for Arsenal fans is that he is demonstrating the personality that is perfect too. Saka humble it off and is mature and confident about the pitch.
Respectful, very hard-working and always prepared to learn, is the way club captain Granit Xhaka explained him recently. They are traits not only to people operating in Arsenals academy, which he joined at the age of eight, but also the staff at Greenford High School in Ealing, west London, in which he was a pupil from the age of 11 to 16.
He had been a role model of a student, assistant head instructor Mark Harvey, who taught Saka PE, informs Sky Sports. A lovely and respectful lad having a very great attitude. He only taken himself in a way that was great.
Sometimes you can instruct pupils who are exceptionally good at football, but if you get them on a pitch, they just hog the ball whenever they wish to show off with it. Bukayo was not that kind of man in any way. If anything, he also played how great he was, which was really nice to view.
Saka was coaching regularly with Arsenal at the time he started in Greenford, making the long journey from his family home in Ealing to the clubs north-east London academy several times each week, however its a testament to his attitude – and aptitude – which he never allowed his research to suffer – even when his football commitments required time out of college.
He did his GCSEs with us until he left and he did very, very nicely, says Harvey. Each of his grades had been high, especially in English and Maths. He failed business studies, hed RE, he did combined sciences. He simply did well through the board, which will be amazing considering the quantity of time.
We attempted to use Arsenal as much as we possibly could. We knew he had been and the ranges he got, so that we had been about allocating him out time flexible. His family were really supportive and always assured he would do his homework, which was the essential thing.
Saka threw himself to his football with the dedication, breaking the U23s of Freddie Ljungberg shortly after his 17th birthday and rising through the youth positions of Arsenal. At precisely the identical time, he had been faring nicely in the junior sides of England, impressing coaching staff with the manner in which an unfamiliar position was adopted by him.
He captured the attention in precisely exactly the same manner he does now, Neil Dewsnip, Englands former U18s trainer, informs Sky Sports. He was very quick, strong and might hurt defences, if that was an out-and-out left winger or as a left-back, which is where he played for us at the start of this past year.
He managed that positional change quite well. He is very competent at one-v-one defending, therefore he did get discovered, and he was very good at learning. He had been amenable to whatever else along with my assistant told him. He wasnt in any way obstructive to anything any member of staff stated.
Saka has shown the willingness to take on the instructions of Emery this season, his variation aided about the coaching team, and there has been evidence of his knowledge. Saka is currently averaging per 90 minutes compared to any Arsenal player in the Premier League.
It appears he has made an impression on Gareth Southgate, who name-dropped Saka when discussing the attacking options of England . A future call-up into the senior side would come to Dewsnip as little surprise.
He understands what hes about and he is very motivated, he states. I found him to be quiet, but maybe not in a weak manner. He had opinions and I discovered he spoke very from a football viewpoint, when he had the floor at the room. He was more than capable of making observations about the competitions strengths and weaknesses.
Saka succeeded in running at Ashley Young at every chance, harnessing the weaknesses of Manchester United at Old Trafford and pouncing on a loose pass from Axel Tuanzebe to get the equaliser of Arsenal. The challenge is to set himself.
At first, young gamers make that luxury of opponents not actually understanding much about them, states Dewsnip. Bukayo is fast, hes powerful, he will make he can score, he can cross. But everyone knows that today. He might need to find other methods of influencing the match also.
It is fortunate that Saka has an established appetite for self – so there seems little possibility of his enhanced profile moving to his mind. In Greenford High Schoolwhere the staff proudly refer to him asour boy and where his signed England U19s shirt hangs framed on the wall at a reception area, he remains a regular guest.
Our old head instructor was a big Chelsea fan, however, he had a really wonderful relationship with Bukayo and Bukayo really came to his leaving do last year with his father, says Harvey. He had some pictures taken and talked to a couple of our students. He has friends in sixth-form here and that he comes into college and says hello to people
The fact that Saka has buddies is a reminder that this is just the start for him. 19 doesnt even turn . But of the ingredients are there for a future that is glowing. Saka is making a significant impression, from Ealing to Old Trafford.
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