Opinion: It is not too early to start building the Arsenal team around special talent

Bukayo Saka is truly a special player, watching him play for the England national team this past week has convinced me of that.

The teenage star has been part of the Arsenal first team since the last Premier League campaign.

He has continued his upward trajectory in his development which I believe will remain the case for a long time.

He is one of the best left-footed teenagers to watch at the moment, and it seems like he is good enough for us to build our team around him.

This kid is talented, disciplined and reliable, there is almost no flaw to his game at the moment apart from the fact that he is inexperienced.

The current Arsenal squad is still in transition as Mikel Arteta tries to build a team that can consistently compete in the Champions League.

I am delighted that Saka has been trusted by Arteta so much that he looks like one of the first names on the team sheet.

If he can be trusted to play all our games, don’t you think that this is probably the best time to start building our team around him?

You might think that he is still too young, for me, the younger the better and if we can start formulating our team around him now, we will be doing that with a player that still has a lot of years ahead of him.

An article from Ime

Tags Bukayo Saka


  1. IF he’s good enough then he’s old enough; isn’t that how it goes? Martinelli is definitely another one to include in the core to build around. Other than that I can’t think of anyone who jumps out.

    1. Most definitely,Martinelli for me aswell I just hope Arteta sees it the same way .
      The boy is a special kind of player

    2. I think not mentioning Gabriel is crazy. He has been amazing with Zero preseason and is very young. I can’t name a better CB in England so far this season.

  2. For me,i don’t see anything much special about saka.he is too lightweight,too slow&doesn’t score or assist much,just above average for me

    1. Do you even watch soccer? Talking about special.. dont know your criteria/qaulities to be special . But goals and assists dont go there. The boy is amazing.

    2. While I am satisfied Saka will go on to have a successful career , there are aspects of his game which he needs to work on before he can become an England regular.Under pressure his first touch can let him down and his finishing on the ground and in the air suggests he is not a natural goalscorer unlike his teammate Nketiah.That said ,he has good football intelligence and has the talent to play all along the left flank and perhaps as a left sided midfielder.An excellent unassuming young player who seems destined to become one of our top assets.

    3. @lykmatt
      Sska is not lightweight at his age. Come to think of it, body weight is not a major criteria in success of football.
      1) Sadio Mane,
      2) Oscar (Former Chelsea Player)
      3) Dele Alli
      4) Son
      5) Kaka
      are not bulky players. In fact, their weight is nothing to write home about

  3. It is just a meaningless phrase to talk about “building ateam around any player”! Think about it and ask yourself whay does it actually mean! As you nneed elevenplayer simplt to begi any game , thenone man , however good or great he may beis not much use wuithout anothr ten good to great players, plus lots more for squad back ups too. So I for just one find this cliched phrase to be meaningless and what REALLY MATTERS is to have a whole load of top players, without which case, no single player is much use at all .
    A team game lets remember, so lets ditch this meaningless cliche. Either words MEAN something OR they are just verbal trite phrases.

      1. Are you actually reduced to concerning yourself about typos now? How trivial can you get! If you were as bright as I had always thought you, though it seems I was wrong to think so, you would have realised they are typos, NOT spelling mistakes.
        No comment at all on the substance of what I wrote and THAT is why your trivial comment was so pathetic. I never had you down as a petty man Phil but I know better now!

    1. The invivibles were built around Patric.Our 2006 team was built around Henry,then around Fab.Barcelona have been building trams around Messi for over 10 years. There are numerous examples from a number of teams

      1. What precisely does “build around”mean to you? I’d like to know precisely HOW you define this , to my mind, meaningless phrase!

  4. This isn’t basketball. You can build a team around a Lebron James but not a Messi and certainly not a Saka.

    And even if you could you would need to find his best position first.

  5. Iykmatt,
    i think you are correct in your saying that he doesn’t score. This is the flaw that I see in his game for Arsenal which he has to work on it to improve. But I don’t think he’s slow. Rather, I think he has the pace that is standardand and okay.

  6. The young players mentioned are all potentially top players. I would put in Reis Nelson. The lad has potential to become one of the best in the country. We seem not to have a similar player like Reis who is a mixture of speed, skill and dribbling abilities…

  7. The classic way to unsettle a team:
    Leak stories about infighting regardless of its validity.
    Arteta saying “there will be consequences”, nope, the only consequence is the result of the game.
    It’s so much easier to manipulate a result by “proving” evidence of disharmony in the camp, right?

  8. Arsenal has got youngsters who can be guided to become great players. Saka, Martinelli, Seliba, and Gouendouzi. But as long as Arteta is in the helm, consider it as a dream. Arteta likes the tried and tested.

  9. Saka is indeed destined for greatness. He should be consistently played on the left wing position. Play a formation of Saka Auba Pepe upfront. Also let us hope we see Willock in the Leeds game.

  10. arsenal don’t have such players now,building a team around individual means such person carries d team even when d chips are down..Henry did it,fabregas did it,sanchez did it,RVP for a season or two, aubameyang did it last season..but today show me such player?

  11. Saka, Martinelli, Willok (ACM), Gabriel, Teirney & possibly Nelson are who we build the team around until we get a top class attacking midfielder or Pepe steps up but Nelson may prove to be better suited to Arsenal than Pepe.

    Another little gem is our new striking sensation from Sweden in Moller who we signed from Molde. 3goals and 1 assist in 4 games in the prem2. Not bad kiddo also with Comparisons to Kanu & Ibra… brilliant.

    Next summer will be very interesting as a host of players will be leaving;
    Luiz, Mustafi, Papa & Mesut – Free
    Laca – 1year left, Sold
    Guendouzi & Torreira – Sold or comes back in the fold.

    Then we have to make signings or better yet depending on if were in the champions league again what signings we can make!

    Top4 this year or Europa league win is a must.

  12. Can’t even build a good team and the talk is now building around one player?

    The forward players are what’s killing this team. They can’t create anything. They show 5 minutes of good play every game.

    Martinelli is the best player in strike for us. There is no doubting his qualities, even as a winger as well.

  13. Our world wide fan following will decrease in time because i don’t see any one from new generation supporting arsenal team beacuse nowadays there is nothing special in our team play (so boring), I’m fan of arsenal since 2002 beacuase at that time we have some good players and attractive style of play. Now we have lots of static players they stand and pass to another and didn’t make any movement so predictable , if we have to score the only choice is through aubameyang or lacazette .i know It’s sad for us but we have to accept the reality we are going down as a history club we an talk about only our history because nowadays we are pretty average club by all means

  14. In order to build around talent you first need to have the talent to build around, and when you’ve successfully achieved that they leave for Barcelona, Real Madrid or Man City and you have to start looking for more talent to build around. Just go with what you’ve got.

          1. Well, @Sue, let’s hope the bottlers will be out of the top 4 by January. Honestly it’s looking so tough this year again, too many teams fighting for top 4!

            1. Yeah let’s hope! It’s been a crazy season so far – especially with them at the summit – which goes to show anything can happen!! You never know, we may even have a shot on target tomorrow 😂

  15. It’s really challenging to build a team around an individual player these days. The game has evolved into a real team effort with lots of specialists players and positions. The new game is a fusion of everything and dynamic. Having a consistent core to build a team around as Liverpool has done is a much more realistic goal. I think that’s what Wenger did and that’s Arteta is doing and he needs the fans patience.

  16. Willock makes things happen? Yeh, at the other end of the field after he’s given the ball away once again. A lot of these expectations for Saka are too premature and smell of wishful thinking. He’s weaknesses have all been spelt out above but at his age some of these can be overlooked, and can be improved on unlike Willock who who doesn’t really have much left. Problem with Saka is that he is the one sellable player Arsenal have who could bring in some cash. And we all know the Kroenke’s footballing philosophy.

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