Bukayo Saka Must Not Become Another Maitland-Niles
There’s a saying that when life offers you lemons, you make lemonade with it. That’s exactly what Bukayo Saka has been doing this season. The 18-year-old has taken the opportunities offered him by a middling first squad and has made every minute worth it, especially in the Europa League where he has been one of Arsenal’s best players. In fact, he was doing so good that he has assisted the most goals out of anyone in the club this season. Whether it’s at Manchester United or at Frankfurt, Saka has made an impact whenever there’s a chance.
Then came the injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney. Saka, who plays as a left-sided as a winger, had to slot in that precarious position in our defence line. Another lemon. The situation looked eerily similar to what had happened with Ainsley Maitland-Niles two seasons ago. A promising youngster who had to fill in another position and ends up being stuck there because of competence or a lack of it elsewhere.
Well, against Sheffield United and Chelsea, Saka is giving us all a public lesson in how to make lemonade. After the first twenty minutes which was shaky against Chelsea’s own homegrown talent, Hudson Odoi, Saka seemed to have gained all the ingredients needed for a sweet, cold lemonade. Lemonade so good it forced the opposing winger to switch and try his tricks on the other flank.
But as much as lemonade can be great, it must be limited to a few tumblers. Bukayo must be returned back to his position on the wings. He’s demonstrated that he could make an impact there, too, and what would be better than to trust him where his skills best suit?
Ainsley Maitland-Niles might be an example but he must not be a trend. Not when we just bought a promising Scottish left-back for 25 million euros. Not after all the goals, assists and spectacular ball control that we’ve seen on display at Old Trafford and such like. Bukayo Saka must not become another Maitland-Niles.
An article by Agboola Israel