Bukayo Saka: Arsenal’s model student has a bright future

Jamie Carragher marvelled in hiscomposure and caliber on the ball. The notoriously hard-to-please Roy Keane talked up hislovely performance. Even his acceptance was voiced by Cesc Fabregas. Saka is a player, he wrote on Twitter. Eighteen years old and showing amazing maturity
Arsenal and Manchester Uniteds 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last month was a gruesome affair, yet another reminder of just how far the 2 clubs have fallen since the days of their epic competition. For Bukayo Saka it also provided a platform to enhance a reputation.
At 18 decades and 25 days old, and making his mature appearance for Arsenal, Saka became the youngest player to begin a Premier League match between the 2 sides. And in a floor where players much older than himve awakened, there was evidence of his inexperience.
Actually, the starting spot of Saka now appears more secure than that of the #72m Nicolas Pepe. Unai Emery described Saka within animportant player following the Manchester United match and started him again in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth. The academy graduate will be assured of keeping his place.
And why shouldnt he be?
Saka provided the first glimpses of his raw talent last year – most especially with his man-of-the-match showing against Qarabag from the Europa League – however, similar to one of his own driving runs Arsenals left flankhis advancement has gained momentum from the new effort.
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 that there also have been three assists, including the wise through-ball for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyangs equaliser at Old Trafford.
Its that ability that has propelled Saka to the spotlight, so moving him above fellow academy graduates Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson at the pecking order of Emery, but whats just as reassuring for Arsenal fans is that hes demonstrating the ideal personality. Saka humble it off and is mature and confident on the pitch.
Respectful, quite hard-working and always eager to understand, is the way team captain Granit Xhaka described him lately. Theyre traits recognisable not just to those operating in Arsenals academy, which he joined at age eight, but also the staff at Greenford High School in Ealing, west London, where he was a student from age 11 to 16.
He was a role model of a pupil, assistant head teacher Mark Harvey, who also taught Saka PE, tells Sky Sports. A lovely and respectful lad having a very wonderful attitude. He took himself in a way.
Sometimes you can instruct students that are exceptionally good in soccer, but if you put them on a pitchthey simply hog the ball or they wish to show off onto it. Bukayo wasnt that kind of guy. If anything, he played down how good he had been, which was really wonderful to see.
Saka was coaching frequently with Arsenal from the time he started at Greenford, making the long journey from his family house in Ealing into the clubs north-east London academy several times each week, but it is a testament to his attitude – and ability – that he never allowed his research to suffer – even if his soccer commitments demanded time from school.
Hed his GCSEs with us until he left and that he did very, very well, says Harvey. All of his grades were so high, particularly in English and Maths. In addition, he did business research, he did RE, he did sciences that are joint. He simply did well through the boardwhich will be amazing considering the amount of time.
We attempted to work with Arsenal as much as we possibly could. We knew he had been along with the grades he got, so we were flexible about allocating him time out. His loved ones were really supportive and always assured he would do his assignments, which was the important thing.
Saka threw himself with the exact same devotion, increasing through Arsenals youth ranks and breaking Freddie Ljungbergs U23s after his 17th birthday. At precisely the identical timehe had been faring similarly well in Englands junior sides, impressing coaching team together with the manner in which he embraced an unknown position.
He captured the eye in exactly the exact same manner he does today, Neil Dewsnip, Englands former U18s coach, informs Sky Sports. He was really fast, powerful and could hurt defences, whether that was as an out-and-out left winger or as a left-back, which will be where he played at the beginning of last year.
He managed that positional change quite well. He is very competent at so he did not get found out, and that he had been very good at learning. He was open-minded to everything else along with my assistant told him. He wasnt in any way obstructive to anything which any member of staff said.
Saka has shown the willingness to take on Emerys instructions this year, his variation aided by the presence of his mentor Ljungberg about the training team that was first-team, and there has been signs of his defensive sense. Saka is currently averaging per 90 minutes than any Arsenal player in the Premier League.
It seems he has made a comment on Gareth Southgate, who name-dropped Saka when talking the attacking options of England . A into the side would come as small surprise to Dewsnip.
He understands what hes about and he is very motivated, he states. I found him to be silent, but perhaps not in a helpless manner. He had remarks and I found he spoke really from a football point of view, when he had the flooring at the dressing room. He was capable of making observations regarding the oppositions strengths and weaknesses.
Saka succeeded in exploiting Manchester Uniteds flaws at Old Trafford, running Ashley Young at each chance and pouncing on a loose pass from Axel Tuanzebe to get Arsenals equaliser. The challenge today is to establish himself.
At first, young gamers make that luxury of opponents not really knowing much about them, states Dewsnip. Bukayo is fast, he is powerful, he will create, he can score, he could cross. But everyone knows that today. He might have to find different ways of influencing the game as well.
Its fortunate that Saka has a proven appetite for self-improvement – so there seems little possibility of his increased profile moving to his mind. In Greenford High Schoolwhere the team refer to him asour boy and in which his authorized England U19s shirt hangs framed on the wall at a reception place, he remains a regular visitor.
Our previous head instructor was a big Chelsea fan, however, he had a really wonderful connection with Bukayo and Bukayo actually came to his leaving do last year along with his dad, says Harvey. He had a few pictures taken and spoke to a couple of our pupils. He still has friends in sixth-form here and that he frequently comes into college and says hello to people
The simple fact that Saka has buddies is a reminder that this is just the start for him. He does not even turn 19 before the beginning of next season. But all the ingredients are there for a future that is bright. Saka is making a significant impression, from Ealing to Old Trafford.
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