Joe Cole believes that Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has qualities shared by only the very best players in the game. 

Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka enhanced his reputation even further with a fine display for England against Ukraine last night.

Whilst England were generally below par, and were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine, Saka was still able to stand out.

At just 22-years-old, Saka has already made himself a key player in Gareth Southgate’s England set up. Of course, he is already an ever-present in the Premier League in the Arsenal starting XI. Mikel Arteta has overseen the Hale End academy graduate’s development into a talismanic figure at the Emirates Stadium.

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There is still more to come from the 29-cap England international, too. Former England midfielder and pundit Joe Cole believes that the young Arsenal attacker has what it takes to be ranked amongst the greatest players in the game.

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The one skill that makes Saka special

As a left-footed winger who operates on the right-flank, Saka excels at cutting inside onto his favoured foot to open up shooting opportunities. He also has the strength and balance to hold off defenders as he does this.

Even if his body is angling away from goal, Saka still has the power and dexterity to launch worthy efforts on goal. It is this specific skill, according to Cole, that makes the Arsenal man so special.

Speaking on Channel 4, Cole said, “you can’t defend [against Saka] because he’s got this ability like Lionel Messi where he takes it backwards. So the defender, you can stop him but he takes it back and he’s still got the ability to whip it with so much power. There’s only a few [players] – Mo Salah’s got it, Lionel Messi’s got it and Bukayo Saka’s got it. When he gets in that position, he’s clinical.”

To be compared with Messi, arguably the greatest player of all time, is high praise indeed. There are similarities between Saka and the Argentine icon, not least in that ability to cut inside and strike the ball left-footed with devastating effect.

The Gunners just need to keep Saka fit and full of confidence and he will surely go on to deliver more great things for the north London club.

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