Bukayo Saka is winning as many fans for his attitude off the pitch as he is doing for his impressive performances on it.
The 19-year-old star has picked up where he left off at the start of the new season for Arsenal, putting in a series of accomplished performances on the left flank and getting on the scoresheet in the Gunners’ 2-1 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday.
His displays have also caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate, and he has been called up for the senior squad for the first time for the upcoming friendly against Wales as well as the Nations League fixtures against Belgium and Denmark.
The youngster’s rise to stardom has certainly been a quick one, yet judging by the reports of those who know him well he has kept his feet on the ground and has not let the success get to his head.
According to The Telegraph, Saka is a hugely popular figure with both players and backroom staff at Arsenal, and early on he made the effort to learn the names of everybody working behind the scenes – something which not every player does.
Saka’s growing importance to the team was highlighted when he was handed the famous No.7 shirt at the beginning of the season, switching from the more obscure 77 he wore initially.
And The Telegraph also claim Saka has been brushing up on his history as a result, learning about the cult figures who have worn the shirt over the years such as club legends Robert Pires and David Rocastle.
The sky appears to be the limit for the likeable academy graduate, and his manager Mikel Arteta spoke out about the player’s maturity following the win over the Blades.
“Playing twice at Anfield, but with all the attention that he got from all the media after he got the call-up as well, you have to show a lot of temperament and you have to manage your emotion,” Arteta said.
“I think he did that really well with a lot of maturity.”
It remains to be seen if he makes his England debut over the coming days, but it would take a brave person to bet against him winning a large number of caps in the future as Saka’s meteoric rise continues.
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