Is Bukayo Saka on his way to becoming World Class? (Opinion)

Without wanting to get ahead of myself, I am starting to get the feeling that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is quickly becoming a world class player.

He has massive potential, but of course it’s still far too early to judge whether he will progress that far…

Many youngsters have shown great potential early on, before plateauing. Bellerin being a perfect example of this.He burst onto the scene, with his amazing pace, and attacking abilities. Such an exciting player to watch!

Whilst his consistency, positioning, and defensive capabilities wasn’t great, given his potential, we all thought that would all improve with experience… Which it didn’t! He had a lot of potential, but now in his mid 20’s, is he anything other than an average FB/WB?

Whilst Bellerin’s lack of improvement, shows why we should temper our expectations on occasions, I cannot help but feel excitement about Saka, because I feel Cesc Fabregas is a more relevant example. Where Bellerin showed glimpses of what he could become in those early days, Cesc was performing on a consistently high level from day one, and Saka is doing the same.

With Hector, one could see that although he had great potential, there were weak areas he needed to work on. When Fab broke through it was tough to find any real weaknesses. Even for someone so small and young, he wasn’t scared of getting stuck in with some tough tackling.

For me, it’s the same with Saka. I am struggling to find what his weaknesses are. Although he isn’t quite performing at the same levels as Cesc when he started his Arsenal career, Saka has proven to be very effective, and in a multitude of positions.

So, my excitement over Saka, really comes from his lack of weaknesses. He is versatile, gets tons of assists, scores, defends, works hard, has the right mentality, can cross, and is consistent. At just 18, he’s already become a key player. I always feel disappointed when he’s not starting, because I know it weakens us.

As much as I want to see him play every game, I fully understand why Arteta has been using him a bit more sparingly of late. One doesn’t want to burn out early on.

One could argue that Saka tailed off a bit towards the back end of last season. Most probably because of fatigue issues but I also feel it was because he was thrust into different positions.

Saka was in unbelievable form at LWB, but then quickly had to adjust to LW/RW positions. Even experienced quality players can struggle in a different position, so it was only natural Saka’s form would have dipped a little after leaving his LWB role. Despite the positional change, I still felt he was generally effective.

I also mentioned Saka’s attitude earlier. I love the fact that he isn’t scared to take on responsibility, and make things happen himself. We have seen this time and time again, with the victory over West Ham being another great example.

With the clock ticking down, and a lucky a draw on the cards, possible defeat coming (given our poor second half), Saka took it upon himself to drive at the Hammers defence, and make something happen. It was great vision to spot Ceballos, and a perfectly composed pass, giving Dani the easiest assist he’ll ever have. Yet again, Saka played a key role in another victory.

As I said earlier, we need to protect our star prospects, but for me, Saka is already a key player, and should be starting the majority of the time.

What are your thoughts on Saka, is he a world class player in the making? Has he already become a key player in the Arsenal line-up?

ThirdManJW

Tags Bukayo Saka

29 Comments

  1. Yemtos says:

    He need to work hard more and more,and his status would be defined in the next 2 season from now,so far so good he’s doing his bit well.

    1. Th14 says:

      OT:

      Now that Inter has signed Vidal, Arsenal should try and get Eriksen. He would be the last piece to make our team great. Goal is floating an article about Eriksen being an outcast with Vidals reunion with Conte… According to the player he joined inter to win titles, we offer a better chance at that than spurs. it can be a blessing in disguise as he’s only 28, still in prime years.

      Let’s go for him

      1. JAY says:

        Eriksen? Youre joking right? He’s the laziest of all inter players I’ve watched! Doesnt give a s**t about footballl anymore. I dont understand your love for average players, I wobi cant make Everton’s first 11, Eriksen is a squad player at inter.Not the type of players I’d want at our club.

        1. Th14 says:

          He is head and shoulders above any current arsenal Cm at the moment. Pairing him with Chaka and moving Ceballos forward can work. It’s a safer bet than Ourar who might not hit the ground running

    2. Chicken dick says:

      So damn true

  2. Eddie says:

    Bellerin in his first season really had no weakness though.
    He was being likened to Dani Alves remember? With his ability to attack and defend very well using his pace.
    That unfortunate injury changed him IMHO.

    Back to Saka, I’ve followed the kid, and yes he’s got the potential to be world class, he just needs to keep working hard and keep believing in himself.
    I think he’s mostly playing safe now.
    The Saka I know could take a player on 1v1 and he’d come out.
    Lately it feels like he’s always looking to pass the ball quick.
    That was what happened to Nelson.
    I have confidence in Saka, but I’d love him to express himself more

    1. Simon says:

      Express himself and get injured? The guy is been careful.. When the time comes, he will express himself

      1. Eddie says:

        He is being careful? Just the way Sancho is always careful?
        Just the way Nelson was being careful and now he can’t seem to find his confidence back?
        Does expressing himself means he gets to be injured?
        I don’t get it

    2. Bashiir says:

      Yeah it’s true ballerina effected injury but now he’s the best time and I see him and Tierney would be our leader in this season if arteta change his mind because of some of our players would be weakness the reason would be arteta every match he believes new player and gives chance he doesn’t have perminant confidence

  3. McLovin says:

    I hope we can find him his best position..

    I think he could become a great LB or LWB, similar to Alexander-Arnold with his attacking prowess.

    Saka/Tierney as LWB/LB and Martinelli/Aubameyang on the left wing. Lethal!

    Something to ponder:

    We’ve spent £32m on Mari, Gabriel and Runarsson.

    We received £16m instantly on Martinez. So our net spend is £16m at the moment.

    Let’s assume we get Aouar for £45m and Partey for £20-25m (Torreira going the other way). That would take our spending just to £80-85m.

    Our squad with those 2 players will be 35 strong , but we can count out Macey, Iliev, Torreira and ESR. That would leave us with 6 players needing to clear out to make that final 25 man squad. According to rumours:

    Mustafi to Lazio, £13m
    Kolasinac to Germany, £10m
    Sokratis to Italy, £3m
    Nelson LOAN
    Willock LOAN
    Elneny £5m or Guendouzi £25m?

    With those sales our spending would only exceed 50m! And we all know Özil is going nowhere..

    1. Eddie says:

      One thing we’re all avoiding, Ozil trained with the U-23 last week.
      What if Arteta doesn’t name him in his final 25Man squad for the EPL??
      If he refuses to leave, then he’d be eligible for only Europa and Cup games.
      This isn’t certain, but it’s an option that nobody’s looking towards.

      1. Lenohappy says:

        Eddie am I don’t think Arteta will do that to ozil, if not for anything but there friendship.

    2. AlexP says:

      Yeah I think your guesstimates are close to the actual figures. Hopefully we can clear out the deadwood. Before that happens I just don’t see us adding any new players.

  4. Trudeau says:

    I think you’re getting waaaay ahead of yourself but that’s okay, we fans aren’t paid to be measured 😉

    World class is a big call (depending of course in how one defines it) but I think Saka has a few more years of hard slogging before he has a chance to reach those heights. A key will be to get him settled in a position. I’m not convinced LB/LWB is the one. Personally prefer AMN there when Tierney isn’t playing.

  5. Davi says:

    Whoever likened him to Dani Alves was dreaming – Alves was like Beckham but was also a good fullback. Bellerin did looked promising early on but he’s never shown a great ability for striking the ball. He has pace but I think the disappointment was that he never improved greatly in one on ones (offensively and defensively) – I think there was big potential in that area.

    1. Davi says:

      That was meant as a response to Eddie

  6. JAY says:

    Calm down. Youre gonna kill this kid’s career.

  7. Adajim says:

    The kid is versatile, has enough potential to make it at the top if managed well, this kind of player doesnt need to be the main fulcrum of our team yet until full maturity. I think that was the unfortunate events with the likes of Wilshire, Ramsey and Bellerin, am confident Saka and Gabi will have enough time to develop, with all the senior players in our team, it will be interesting to see what this players become in 2yrs

  8. jon fox says:

    The problem we all havewith the term “world class” is that is means very far apart meanings according to various fans.

    I have never considerd Cesc world class for example but I do believe most would differ on that one. To my mind,when at his peak he was just below it but not far away. I think Auba a world class finisher but not a true world class player. Again, I know I am in a minority and there is the problem we ALL have with this rather imprecise term.

    Saka, as yet, is a hugely promising young player with good attitude but not even a true regular in our still modest team, so is very clearly not world class.

    He may or may not become so, but that is impossible to accurately predict and anyone who says they can is not being truthful, IMO.

    The only way this subject can ever be of true value is for a universal definition, accepted by all, of what constitutes “world class” to be determined first. That is NEVER going to happen, so I will leave it there, as those are my thoughts.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      In your opinion what makes a world class player Mr Fox and can you give an example of players you deem world class excluding Messi and Ronaldo? I have always considered Fabregas world class but you have made me curious. Can you expand on that?

      1. jon fox says:

        Yes HH and thanks for asking. Firstly sublime natural talent alied rto gret and regulareffectiveness on thrpitch . Also aragular pick who is rarely injured WC player influence games for thre bettert consistently wher lesser , evebr top but NOT world class teammates cannot do. Apart from MESSI andRONALDO, such as KdB, Sterling, VVD, Allison, Eden, Hazard, Suarez, Mbappe Neymar Iniesta(retired) and THAT ilk are examples. Sala, Mane, Auba and Kane are all just short. Just my opinion of course. Which are yours though? PS IF YOU WISH , PLEASE USE MY FIRST NAME, AS I AM NOT STUFFY ABOUT SUCH THINGS.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          I have never thought about this before so I can’t give an honest opinion. To try it, I would’ve put Salah, Make, Kane and Aubameyang in world class category as they are too important in their respective teams and have delivered top performance consistently.

  9. Gworm says:

    Time will tell, but he seems to play better with Nketiah and Martinelli. He doesn’t quite click with Auba and Laca for me.

  10. Sean Williams says:

    I wish he was. It’s not good to get carried along by the winds of hype. He may become world class. At the moment it’s not correct or fair to infer he is.

  11. Mohsan says:

    He has that ability in him and talent as well, very mature on the field as well as compared to so many older players around him. Having talent is one thing but keeping it head down and keep working on it skill is other. That is what makes Messi and Ronaldo stand out they had the ability and skill but they world hard as well, did not throw away their careers. Even when they achieved so much they kept going kept being an example as professionals. Saka needs to do the same and I believe he can be one of the next big thing in future.

  12. jareal333 says:

    He plays exceptionally well for an 18 year old. Let’s hope he is committed to becoming great and continues to improve.

  13. Grandad says:

    You hit the nail on the head Jon.To me the term “world class” is used to describe players who are way below that standard.About 20 years ago I heard what I thought at the time was one of the best definitions of the term which suggested that to be “world class” a player would have to have proved himself over a period of at least 5 years and to currently be in contention for a place in a World best eleven.That definition in itself is perhaps flawed because you could have a surplus of excellent players in one position, say right back, and a dearth of excellence at left back.A bit like the situation with the English international team?.In any event, I like Saka, but he has a long way to go before he can be considered as “world class”.

  14. Wenger91 says:

    Give him sometime, he needs to focus on improving his skills and body movements. His ball passing is incredible but he needs to be surrounded with a great playmaker so he can watch and learn!

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