Speaking to Football London, former Arsenal boss Unai Emery shared what he saw in a 17-year-old Bukayo Saka when he handed the youngster his Premier League debut in 2019.
The teenager has now become one of our most important players. Saka, still only 19, has been having a bigger impact than most of our senior stars.
He is now a full England international as well, and if he can keep performing the way he has over the last few weeks, not many people can say he doesn’t deserve a spot in the national team for the Euros.
Emery knows Saka very well having watched him closely during his time with us. The former Arsenal boss has shared an anecdote today about what he observed when the youngster made his league debut against Fulham on New Year’s day in 2019.
He said: “I remember when Bukayo played the first match with us in January. We won against Fulham 4-1 at the Emirates, he played for the first time with us at 17 years-old for 10 minutes. He didn’t touch one ball in ten minutes! He ran, ran, ran but didn’t kick one ball – it was amazing.”
“When he started playing regularly you could look at him and see he’s a very good player. He’s progressing as a very important player and he is a very humble person. Bukayo was amazing as a person and a player. You could tell he’s a very intelligent, smart kid too.”
Saka has a massive future ahead of him
It wouldn’t be unfair to our other prospects to say that Saka is our most exciting youngster. His quality, versatility and confidence on the pitch is a joy to watch, but he can still be so much better.
Still only 19, Saka has the world at his feet. If he keeps his head down and works hard, he can go on to become one of the best players in the Premier League, if not the world.
Mikel Arteta clearly loves Saka. The Arsenal boss, like his predecessor, hasn’t been afraid to throw the teenager in the deep end. The young Englishman has responded brilliantly as well and it will be interesting to see how much better he becomes in a few years time.