|Desc||Managers may have come and gone during a season of uncertainty at Arsenal, but there is one thing that nobody is in any doubt about - Bukayo Saka is one of the most promising players to have emerged at the Emirates in years. Indeed, the only doubt surrounding the 18-year-old Londoner is over his best position, with the winger, who netted his first senior goal in the Europa League win over Eintracht Frankfurt in September, having excelled after being asked to fill in at left-back following injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney.|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Arsenal FC|
2019 09 20 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka has named Cristiano Ronaldo as his inspiration after his match-winning display for Arsenal in the Europa League] Cristiano Ronaldo. I love his mentality. He always wants to be the best, is always working hard on and off the pitch and trying to make his body the best. When he gets on the pitch he performs with full confidence and full personality and shows why he’s one of the best players to ever play football. I wouldn’t say I have his attitude as we are two different players, he is unique, but I try to look at him and take the good things from his game and one of the good things from his game is his mentality. He’s always focused, always working and I try to do that as well.
[Along with Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe, he was one of three academy products to start for the Gunners and another, Reiss Nelson, was on the bench] It’s good to have your mates around you. They push you on. When you’re down they pick you up, when they’re down I pick them up. It’s good to have them all around us. There will be a lot of opportunities in the Europa League. That’s how I made my debut last season and I hope I can continue to get more and more opportunities and keep progressing so I can play in the Premier League and start playing for Arsenal’s first team. I take a lot of confidence from this game. It was my first goal and I also managed to get two assists so I’m very happy with my performance
2019 09 20b Retrieve
[Arsenal hero Bukayo Saka has paid tribute to Freddie Ljungberg after his man-of-the-match performance in Frankfurt] Freddie’s information is vital for me because I play in the same position as him and he’s been a big part in my progress. I feel like he’s been a player before so he understands how I would feel, he’s played in my position and it’s just so good to have him there, an Arsenal legend giving me advice. There’s not much more I can ask for
He gives a lot of advice to me every day but the best piece of advice he’s given me is to stay humble. He’s been with me since I was 15, seen me do amazing things but he always tells me to stay humble and to keep working hard because he really thinks I can be a top player. It helps so much [having Ljungberg around]. When the coach is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie sometimes, he speaks better English
[Emery handed him his debut in the Europa League last year when he came off the bench during the 3-0 win against Vorksla in Kiev] In training every day he is always helping. If I do something wrong, he’ll tell me, which is good because I don’t want him to think because I’m a young player that he won’t shout at me, put my confidence down. He tells me when I’m good too. I feel like I have learned so much playing in his team and I’m happy that he put his faith in me
[It was an excellent night for the Gunners and one that Saka will never forget] I’ve always dreamt of this moment. From when I was a kid, [I’ve wanted] to score a goal for Arsenal Football Club. Now I’ve done it, I just want to keep working, stay humble, get that feeling again one day. I had so many messages: Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. I had them from everyone. I even gave my dad a quick FaceTime call. He was so proud of me. He’s a massive inspiration for me. From when I was young, he always kept me grounded, kept me humble and I’m sure he’ll see some criticisms from tonight, something I can get better from, but I’m sure I would have made him happy. I couldn’t speak to him because the coaches wanted me to get in the ice bath for recovery. We just put our thumbs up to each other, I saw him smiling and it was a proud moment
2019 09 29 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has denied that he struggles to communicate with his Arsenal players] It helps so much [to have Ljungberg there]. Sometimes when I don’t understand, when the coach is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie Ljungberg, he speaks better English
2019 10 17 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka: Arsenal’s teen wing wizard on track for superstar status] I gave my dad a quick FaceTime. I couldn’t speak because the coaches wanted me to get in the ice bath, so we just put our thumbs up to each other and I saw him smiling. It was a proud moment
[Saka’s parents have been a key part in the youngster’s rapid rise to prominence at Arsenal] I had invitations from Spurs, Chelsea, Fulham and Watford but the only choice was Arsenal. I enjoyed the way Arsenal played so the choice was easy for me
Cristiano Ronaldo, I love his mentality. He always wants to be the best and is always working hard on and off the pitch and trying to make his body the best. I try to look at him and take the good things from his game. He’s always focused, always working and I try to do that as well
2019 10 17b Retrieve
[Credited with a major role in breakthroughs for youngsters like Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka, Freddie Ljungberg has become an increasingly important figure at the club] He knows Arsenal perfectly, the young players. He helps us every day in training, the matches and before. He knows the characteristics of the Premier League. I’m very happy with him. Each assistant has their work. We are together to speak with the players, we are in the dressing room, we spoke about all the situations individually. We share some moments
2019 10 20 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka can’t wait for the return of Alexandre Lacazette - but has vowed to fight the France international for his place in the Arsenal team] It’s always good to have all our best players available. All of us competing makes us push to play better and better. If one player is injured then others get an opportunity but I want everyone to come back and do the best for Arsenal.
The boss knows what I can do, what the other players can do. Different games require different players but I feel like I’ve shown the boss he can trust me. Whatever game he puts me in I’ll always give it my all. This has always been a dream for me. I’ve been working for this moment as a kid, in the academy. Now I’ve got to the first team I just want to give it my best to repay the faith the boss has given me. I just try to work hard, give my all and put in a good performance. Hopefully after I’ve put in that performance I can build on it. If the boss trusts me to play I’ll always do my best
[Saka believes giving youth a chance has benefited Arsenal so far this season, just as it has Chelsea, who have also blooded a number of young players since the start of the campaign] Both clubs have top young talent that they’re trying to integrate into the first team. It’s working for Chelsea and it’s working for us, too. I hope we can continue to get the chances, play well and show the boss what we can do
[It has been a whirlwind couple of months for the academy graduate, who has been quick to credit Emery and his team-mates for his impressive form] The boss has really trusted me and put a lot of faith in me. He has given me the opportunity to work in this team. I’ve learned so much from the other players and it’s showing on the pitch. The players give me a lot of confidence and the boss gives me a lot of confidence. When the boss is going to start you at Old Trafford it’s going to give you a lot of confidence. I just try to go out there, do my best, play without fear and doubt. If the boss trusts me to do it I can do it
2019 11 29 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka on Freddie Ljungberg’s appointment as interim manager] Freddie’s information is vital for me because I play in the same position as him and he’s been a big part in my progress. He gives a lot of advice to me every day but the best piece of advice he’s given me is to stay humble. He’s been with me since I was 15, seen me do amazing things but he always tells me to stay humble and to keep working hard because he really thinks I can be a top player
2019 12 31 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka admits Arsenal need to win games and win trophies after hitting a serious slump] Arteta has his own way, his own philosophy and he’s even talked about bringing his own philosophy to the club, to try to bring the club back to the direction we need to be in. We need to win games and win trophies, so I feel like he has that vision and that strategy. He knows how he wants us to get there. If we can be on board and do what he wants us to, we’ll do well
He’s someone who understands the players, understands the club and all the ideas that he’s bringing in. He has a clear strategy of how he wants us to play and we’re just really excited to work with him. He’s teaching us little things that we didn’t know before and just bringing in his own strategies, his own ways of playing. We can see that it’s going to work, we’re just looking forward to doing it. Maybe one thing that I’ve picked up straight away is that when nobody’s pressing you, you don’t need to pass the ball. What you can do is just get the ball, drive the ball forward a bit and wait for someone to come to you, commit a player, then pass it. Then that man will be free or that man will have less pressure on him. It’s just attracting players before you pass the ball off, which will help our team-mates a lot on the pitch
2020 01 28 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka says Mikel Arteta is bringing back Arsenal’s famous passing philosophy] Mikel’s trying to bring back the philosophy, the Arsenal passing way, and I think we played really good football in the first half.
[The teenage winger added on his relationship with Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli] Martinelli & I train a lot together, we speak a lot, we’re good friends, we speak about how we’re going to beat the defenders, get in behind and score goals
2020 02 17 Retrieve
[Sensational Bukayo Saka’s Arsenal learning curve] I was happy for the skill to come off. I just had to keep my composure in finding the right players so we could try and score and not getting carried away with the skill
I’m really enjoying my football under the new manager. It’s an honour to have the most assists in this team because we have some amazing talent and I learn so much from them every day
[Kolasinac is now back to full fitness but Arteta kept faith with Saka against Newcastle] It’s not my natural position but Mikel has given me all the advice I need. I’ve got Granit [Xhaka] behind me, David [Luiz] supporting and speaking to me so it gives me licence to go and express myself in the final third and do what I can do. I’ve learned a lot about how wingers in the Premier League play against defenders and how to position myself because in this system it’s different. I get to play much higher because the winger comes inside and I get to go. So there’s a lot of space for me and it’s good. I’m playing sort of as a winger when we have the ball but without the ball I have to come back and work on my clearances, my heading and stuff I haven’t worked on my whole life. I feel like I’m doing OK right now
[So is left-back a role he can see doing long-term?] No. My dream was always to be a winger, to affect games, score goals and get assists. For now I’ll do the job the manager asks me to.
[Saka has 18 months left on his current deal and Arsenal are understandably keen to get him to commit his future] I just leave all that stuff to my agent and my parents. I just enjoy my football and play my football. They’re sorting it out. Of course I’m enjoying my football, enjoying playing under the new coach so we’ll see what happens
2020 02 21 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka is enjoying an impressive rise to prominence and he was effective again on Thursday] I want to play all the games. I, and we, take this competition seriously because it’s another chance for a trophy and to qualify for the Champions League. So, I want to play all these games and I’m happy the manager made the decision I play the Premier League games and Europa League games as well
2020 02 23 Retrieve
[Long-term it is not where he wants to play, but for now he is just enjoying being involved and making an impact] It’s not my natural position but he [Arteta] has given me all the advice I need. I’ve got Granit [Xhaka] behind and David [Luiz] supporting me. It gives me licence to go and express myself in the final third and do what I can do
I’ve learned a lot about how wingers in the Premier League play against defenders and how to position myself because in this system it’s different. I get to play much higher because the winger comes inside and I get to go. There’s a lot of space and it’s good for me.
[Talks are taking place over a new deal, but sources in north London suggest an agreement remains some way off] I just leave all that stuff to my agent and my parents,. I just enjoy and play my football. Like I said, it’s for my agent. They’re sorting it out. Of course, I’m enjoying playing under the new coach so we’ll see what happens.
2020 03 06 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka has represented England at youth level but has yet to receive a senior call. And Southgate could look to rush him into his squad as the Arsenal youngster could yet choose to play for Nigeria, who he qualifies for through both his parents] I am always thinking about it but I haven’t made a decision yet. No-one has been in touch but when I make a decision you will find out.
2020 07 01 Tweet
[Saka tweeted after the announcement of his new deal] London is my home. Arsenal my team. I’m so happy to finally announce my contract extension. I love playing for this club and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. The hard work continues so I can continue living my dream
2020 07 05 Retrieve
[Arsenal brought Wolves’ charge for the top four to a screeching halt with goals from Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette giving the Gunners a 2-0 win at Molineux] It’s been a week that I’ll remember for my whole life
2020 07 05b Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka: A week I’ll always remember after first Premier League goal for Arsenal] It’s been a week that I’ll remember for my whole life. It’s been a great week not just for me, but the Arsenal fans. You can see what the manager is building and we’re really delighted with the results we’re getting and that I can tie down my future here. I’m 18 and it’s been a dream to play for this club. I came up from the academy this season so I feel like I have to take it game by game. Wherever the boss puts me, I have to try and give my best. I’m so grateful to be here
It’s a very big result. We know how good Wolves are, we knew how tough it was going to be out here. We fought for every ball, we fought for every duel and we’re delighted to get the win. We just want to keep building some momentum. I know KT [Kieran Tierney], I know where he likes to cross it… I anticipated that the ball was going to come to the edge of the box so I made sure I was there. When I got the ball, I knew at the far post was where the gaps were going to be and I just tried to guide it there. Luckily, it was a good finish and it went in. We fought for each other together and I feel like that’s why we got it over the line today. The subs that came on helped us so much and they gave us a boost. It feels like we’re more together.