Emery hoping Saka has long Arsenal career ahead

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Unai Emery has reaffirmed his commitment to giving Arsenal’s academy graduates a chance to play first team football and believes his latest debutant Bukayo Saka can have a long career at the Emirates.

The 17-year-old made his Premier League bow in the final minutes of the 4-1 win over Fulham, becoming in the process the first player born in the year 2001 to feature in England’s top flight.

While the winger didn’t actually touch the ball on Tuesday, he’s shown enough promise at Premier League 2 level and in a couple of Europa League cameos to hint at a bright future.

Ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third round match at Blackpool – a match Saka is likely to be involved in – Emery spoke warmly of the teenager’s prospects.

“I am using different players because of injuries, but it is important for us to give chances to the young players,” the boss told Arsenal.com.

“The young players, like Saka, he has debuted in his last match and he was playing because at the moment we haven’t a lot of players who have the possibility to play wide right or wide left.

“Saka is in the academy, growing up with good performances. It is the beginning, I hope, of a long career here in Arsenal.

“He is improving a lot and, although he is very young, he is training with us and understanding our tactics with the other players. He is coming with us on a lot of matches and living our moments with the team.

“Now he starts to play in the games and also in the Premier League. He is going to have a career but we need to help him also with a strategy for this.

“We have other players the same – Emile, Willock, Nketiah – we need to give them chances while thinking about a good performance with a good combination [in the team]. On Saturday I am going to think like that.”

Obviously, now that we’re into January the prospect of loaning out more youngsters comes into sharper focus. It’s a testament to the talent of the aforementioned quartet (and our injury situation) that it’s more tempting to keep them at the club rather than pack them off elsewhere to gain experience.

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Chiza
Chiza

Ohhhhhhhhhh!……our very own Arjen Robben

Damo Dinkum
Damo Dinkum

But less divey

Man
Man

And less elephant man

TeeCee
TeeCee

Funny, I’m sure I read “didn’t actually touch the ball”, not “didn’t ever give the ball to anyone else”.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Emery has had a lot of criticisms in recent weeks but here’s one place he’s really impressed me. I’m sure talented youngsters across Europe will look at the chances given to Guendouzi, Smith Rowe, Saka etc and it might just help us get ahead of the likes of Man City and their perro-dollars, as the likes of Foden and Diaz Roy on their bench.

Savage
Savage

That’s what the German teams are doing

N10
N10

Savage: All things being equal (playing time, compensation etc.) I think most youth would rather play in the prem than the BL.

goongot
goongot

god i’ll take foden in a heart-beat..that guy is speccial.i

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

It doesn’t work like that anymore. The young players have agents and want to buy the latest Lamborghini. In fact, the agent himself wants to buy the latest Lamborghini out of the deal.

PeteyB
PeteyB

Some truth there no doubt but maybe a little shift with the likes of Sancho and Nelson going for playing time and experience rather than a fast fortune.

catbiscuits
catbiscuits

Sancho sure, but Nelson is on Arsenal wages.

Ross Leach
Ross Leach

Diaz is joining Real Madrid. But yeah, I’m up for more young gems joining us.

Badaab
Badaab

The reason many of these young players will stay is not only a testament to their talent, or the injury aituation, but also the lack of transfer activity we will be doing this month…

Roof-attack
Roof-attack

id like to see :

cech
jenks , medley , elneny , kolasinac
amn, ramsey , guendouzi
saka, eddie, iwobi

but what do i know ? i still play FM10 (when the mrs lets me) !
have good weekend everyone.

Goonerink

Think you put willock in the midfield and move amn up the wing.
Also iwobi on bench, saka on the other wing.
Is Mavropanos back yet?

Penfield
Penfield

You lost me at Elneny at the back

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Hasn’t Elneny played CB for the first team?

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Yes a few preseasons ago

Badaab
Badaab

Played there in the Europa league last season.

Rich
Rich

The English youth teams seem to be doing very well over the last few years, would be a right result if we could pull an Mbappe level player out of our academy at some point in the very near future?
It’s also nice to see Emery isn’t afraid to give young players a chance.

DialSquareGoon
DialSquareGoon

He had one touch, actually.

Man Manny
Man Manny

I think I saw that also; just before Oba scored.

Iwearnosocks
Iwearnosocks

One touch two touch wotchu want

midgunner
midgunner

‘It’s a testament to the talent of the aforementioned quartet (and our injury situation) that it’s more tempting to keep them at the club rather than pack them off elsewhere to gain experience.’

Either that or it’s a testament to the quality of our squad players that they not far ahead of our academy graduates.

Either way let’s hope some of them make to the next level with us.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Talent does not have much to do with age. When Fabregas started, he was better than all of out midfielders.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

I think Wenger was saying that at the age of 17 you can already if a player is capable or not.

Ryan
Ryan

I think it’s time for Arsenal fans to take a deep breath. Unai Emery has had 1/2 a season and one transfer window to straighten out a mess that was created over many years.

No, I’m not happy to be in 5th place. It sucks.
We have to give it more time.
Emery needs to fix our defensive ineptitude. A task I believe will require a “Virgil VanDyke” like signing.
We need a True defensive master to lead all the defenders.
This will help the side tremendously.

Rich
Rich

I agree, the outrage at us being 5th and only 3 points off 4th is ridiculous.
Emery deserves a minimum of 12 months to start getting his house in order, and if we’re going to be relying on academy players? He’s likely going to need 4-5 years.
Top 4 was always an outside chance for this season, and with our current owner I don’t see it becoming any easier

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

I remember all these jokes that Liverpool spent 85 millions for Van Dyke and we spent only two millions for Holding who was just as good or better.

catbiscuits
catbiscuits

I don’t remember anyone claiming that Holding was better than VVD!

Faaz240
Faaz240

I think he was compared with John stones

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Wow, the first 21st Century kid in the Premier League, that’s history!

Post January Blip
Post January Blip

*Since 2001. It was in fact Angel Gomes who was the first to make an appearance in the Premier League.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Let’s not forget that 21st century started on 1.1.2001
Gomes is still a 20th century kid 😉

Sri
Sri

Why the “he didn’t touch the ball” theme? Definitely touched it in the build up to the last goal vs Fulham.

arseblog
Admin

No, it came off Mitrovic’s heel.

Sri
Sri

seen it again, and yep, you are right. darn 🙂

santori
santori

Regardless, we need a more experienced option from market to be competitive even if we were to bring Nelson back into fold next season.

Would love to see a Fekir but likely won’t happen.

But that’s the sort of player we need at 25yrs with pace but also craft to his game and ability to engage players one on one. At the moment, Iwobi is the closest we’ve got.

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

I miss Rosicky, we need a player like him in the middle. The way he used to change the tempo of a game was mesmerising.