“He didn’t touch one ball in ten minutes!” Emery remembers young star’s first Arsenal game

Unai Emery has recalled giving Bukayo Saka his Arsenal debut and praised the England attacker for his humility and development.

Saka has emerged as one of Arsenal’s most important players this season, with the Gunners relying on him to get them out of trouble in some games.

He was handed his Arsenal debut by Emery in the 2018/2019 season and the Spanish manager has now recalled being “amazed” by him even before he touched a ball in his first game.

Emery was speaking to Football London and said that Saka impressed him with his willingness to run constantly in that game.

When he started playing more often, one could tell that he was developing into a top player at the club.

Importantly, he is humble and listens to those above him, an attribute that Emery has credited with helping him in his career so far.

Emery told Football London: “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.

“It’s very important because some other players don’t have the same humble qualities as him to always want to learn, listen and follow us.

“Bukayo was amazing as a person and a player. You could tell he’s a very intelligent, smart kid too.”

Tags Bukayo Saka Unai Emery


  1. Ayan says:

    What a humble and incredible guy! Lucky to have him as an Arsenal player!

  2. jon fox says:

    I never like to over praise young players as I see danger in it. BUT even I consider Saka as the perfect young man to be an example to all budding players.

    He is an admirable person and a talented player with a simply HUGE career ahed of him for certain, injuries permitting. He is also our single most valuable player and the very last person for years past that I would ever want sold. It won’t happen, so I should not worry.

  3. RSH says:

    Saka, ESR, Martinelli all seem like down to earth, hard-working individuals. it’s exactly what the team needs. Our academy should be proud of producing ESR and Saka. I think the way they play also reflects their personality. Not dunking on Willock or Nelson either, but can’t say I get as clear of a sense of who they are, but from videos they been in they both seem like decent individuals as well. I think it’s important the club raises good characters as well.

    1. ozziegunner says:


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