Emery praise for ‘big personality’ Bukayo Saka

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Unai Emery was quick to praise all his young players after last night’s 1-0 win over Qarabag in the Europa League, but reserved some special words for Bukayo Saka who was making his first start for the club.

The Arsenal boss handed starts to Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, all of whom impressed at times, but it was the 17 year old who really caught the eye with an exciting display down the left hand side.

He might also have capped his display with a goal, denied late on by the face of Qarabag keeper Vagner da Silva, but it was a performance the youngster could be proud of and one which clearly resonated with Emery when he faced the press afterwards.

“Today Saka also played with a good performance, with a very big personality and we were speaking at half-time,” he said. “His personality is very important for us to continue trying to go 1v1 and break lines with his quality.

“He played with a very big personality and sometimes with a very good performance. It’s very important for his confidence and for us also, because we can look at this player and see quality to help us.”

The Spaniard was keen to ensure the other young players were acknowledged too, saying, “Every young player, we have the responsibility to give them chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances

“We give them these chances in the games like today, when we can do that. They show us in every match positive things.

“Two weeks ago we played in Kiev and it was the same with Emile and Willock, who scored there. Nketiah played today also and gave a good performance.”

With a Carabao Cup quarter-final against the homeless goblins coming up next week, one or two of them will have done their chances of involvement some good with how they played last night.

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Pedant
Pedant

Fantastic for a 17 year old. I’m sure it won’t be a straight line up to being a regular but hope that is where he ends.

Tim
Tim

No need to hype up people too soon, but Saka looks good doesn’t he!

We’re in dire need for wingers with pace and the ability to beat a man and create an overload on one side, or just get a bit of space. Especially now Emery’s signature move is becoming the pullback from the byline followed close range finish. Great timing for Saka and Nelson to stake a claim, especially as we won’t have the financial power of our rivals (without UCL) to purchase a world class winger.

clins
clins

saka medley and nketia were the pick of the bunch for me. matiland niles and willock were impressive as well. and it is amazing to see elneny keep on improving every year. i thought he had a solid game, he kept possession, evaded challenges well and some of his long passes , which was non existent when he came to arsenal was pinpoint

Devlin
Devlin

He has always been a special talent to anyone who has ever seen him play. What’s even more special about him is the defensive contribution he provides while still being such a special player attacking-wise.

He still has some way to go and so much to improve on, so it will be interesting to see his development. He has the talent, his capacity to work hard will determine how far he will go. At this point, I have little doubt that he will be anything lower than a squad player at Arsenal when he finally breaks through.

The talent that is in the Arsenal youth set-up right now though, as I have said before, has the best chance chance along with potential to become an integral generation for the first team. So much talent, clear pathways to the first team and a willingness on the club’s part to cultivate that talent.

henry
henry

Homeless goblins 😉 😉

santori
santori

I like this kid.

BUT strange not a single mention on Ozil returning into the team.

Its as if some people are embarress they were even speculating on something greater than a back pain and secretly still want to see him gone.

Its bizarre how people get suck in to their own narratives and would readily be prey to the tabloid press and their invention.

How gullible can some be?

Ozil’s return can only be a benefit for us.