Arsenal star Bukayo Saka was handed the PFA Young Player of the Year award at the 2023 PFA Awards on Tuesday night.

Held at the Lowry Theatre on Tuesday, August 29th, the 2023 PFA Awards recognised the achievements of players during the 2022/23 campaign. Alongside picking up the Young Player of the Year award, Bukayo Saka was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year, with fellow Arsenal stars Aaron Ramsdale, William Saliba, and Martin Odegaard.

Saka became the sixth Arsenal player to ever pick up the Young Player of the Year gong. The award has previously been given to Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas, and Jack Wilshere, whilst they represented the Gunners. No other Premier League club has had more individual winners of the prize.

Saka is beloved at the Emirates Stadium, and is a huge figure in Mikel Arteta’s team. The 21-year-old broke a club record against Fulham last time out, becoming the first ever Arsenal player to feature in 83 consecutive Premier League matches. He marked the occasion with a goal from the penalty spot.

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Arsenal FC v Fulham FC - Premier League
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Saka sees what he means to Arsenal fans

During the 2023 PFA Awards event, Goal presented Saka with a video of Arsenal fans discussing whether they would take winning the Premier League title, in exchange for selling Saka. The player’s reaction to the video was filmed.

None of the Arsenal fans in the video said that they would trade Saka for a Premier League title. Fan statements included, “that’s a mad question, bro”, “Saka ain’t going nowhere”, “Never. That’s not worth it. That’s our Starboy”, “I’ll keep Saka”, and “that’s the people’s champ. That’s our son.”

The Hale End academy graduate was visibly awed by the regard the fans hold him in. The 28-cap England international said, “to win the league or they sell me? Wow. That’s real love, you know. That’s real talk.”

One fan stated that the notion of selling Saka, even in exchange for a Premier League title, was “not a deal worth even contemplating,” to which a delighted Saka responded, “he said he’s not even contemplating.”

Another fan echoed Arteta’s own mission statement. He said, “it’s a project…trust the process. Keep Saka. We will win the Champions League next year.” The £195,000-a-week winger was clearly in agreement, saying “it’s a process. He knows, he knows. That’s real love. I appreciate that and hope I can pay off their faith.”

If Arsenal and Arteta do go on to achieve their aims in the coming years, then Saka will surely be at the heart of those successes.

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