Jamie Carragher has told Monday Night Football (broadcast on Sky Sports; 30/9; 22:11) that Bukayo Saka can be very proud of his performance in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The 18-year-old’s stock continues to rise. He gave Ashley Young a fairly torrid evening, and it was his anticipation that gave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the chance to equalise during the second-half.
Whoscored.com shows that Saka completed more successful tackles than any other player on the pitch. He also completed more passes and boasted the best pass-completion rate of the three Gunners attackers who started the game.
And Carragher lauded the teenager for his actions in the build-up to Arsenal’s goal, before going on to explain how impressed he has been with Saka since he came into the first-team fold this season.
“What I love about what he does is he smells the danger. He thinks something will happen. He’s already in, making up ground to go and press Lindelof, to be there,” he told Monday Night Football as he assessed the assist.
“I thought he was really good, really impressed with him, impressed with him in the European game against Eintracht Frankfurt. To come in at 18, away at Old Trafford in an Arsenal team that aren’t playing great and isn’t a great Arsenal team, that role he had, he was backing into Ashley Young. He was holding up the ball. He was strong. He looked confident. And he can be really proud of his performance, he was really good.”
It really does appear that Arsenal could have a special talent on their hands in Saka. In the three starts he has made this season, he has scored one and provided three assists.
Emery has the attacking depth to ensure that he does not need to put too much pressure on Saka. But the youngster is forcing his hand with his performances since coming into the side this term.
He outshone Nicolas Pepe on Monday. And if Arsenal fans are asked whether they want Saka or Pepe to keep their place for Thursday’s game against Standard Liege, it seems more than likely that more will back the academy graduate.