Bukayo Saka a Bright Spot in Challenging Times for Arsenal

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The Golden Boy nominees have been announced for 2021! The award that acknowledges the best under 21 players plying their trade in Europe for a calendar year is back and this year could be one of the most stacked nominee lists ever.

Established by Italian sports publication Tuttosport in 2003, it has gone on to become a very handy indicator when it comes to finding the next big thing in football. Former winners include the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, and last year’s winner Erling Haaland. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates. 

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This young Englishman is Arsenal through and through.

Bukayo signed for Arsenals Hale End academy at the age of 7 and was awarded a professional contract at the age of 17. He broke through to the senior side  in Arsenals FA Cup-winning season (19/20 season)

It was the 20/21 season when Bukayo Saka really made his presence known as one of the brightest talents in European football. While these are really tough times in north London right now, with the club falling way off the map from where they used to be, Saka has been a bright spot that gives the fanbase a little bit more optimism right now. 

While manager Mikel Arteta is under fire, and rightly so, those who believe/want to believe in his rebuilding project point to promising youngsters in the squad, like Bukayo Saka.

 

He would become a mainstay in the Gunners line up making 46 appearances across all competitions and have 17 score involvements (7 goals, 10 assists) before being named as a part of Gareth Southgate’s England  Euro 2020 squad

After appearing in 4 of England’s 7 matches in their eventual final defeat, unfortunately, Saka was the recipient of some abhorrent racial abuse after missing the deciding kick in the penalty shoot-out that decided the match.

The football community wrapped its arms around the London-born youngster as there was worldwide condemnation of those who perpetrated such horrible acts against Bukayo Saka.

To his credit, Saka has let his football do the talking and has started this season in great form starting all 5 of Arsenal’s Premier League games so far.

I wouldn’t say he’s a front-runner but Saka absolutely deserves his nominations and is without question one of the best 10 talents to be nominated this year.

Golden Boy Award Candidate Profile Series

Bryan Gil       Bukayo Saka     Eduardo Camavinga     Mason Greenwood

Comments

  1. actually at this moment he is far from a bright spot, playing pretty poorly. Bright spots are Ramsdale, Lokonga, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Odegaard

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