Saka set to benefit from Iwobi’s departure

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It is always disappointing when an academy graduate leaves the club, but Alex Iwobi’s departure could provide an opportunity for another Hale End product to impress.

Bukayo Saka has been on the periphery of the first-team squad since last season and has featured in several pre-season games in addition to pre-season friendlies.

Now, though, the 17-year-old could become increasingly involved with the first-team, especially when others are out injured.

When Arsenal have all of their attacking players fit it is anticipated that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will often be deployed on the left wing, with Reiss Nelson and Henrikh Mkhitaryan also capable of playing there.

However, in some matches, especially in the cup competitions, Saka could well receive a runout, with the prospect having seized the majority of the chances that he has been afforded so far.

Saka travelled with the squad for today’s game against Newcastle United, and, while getting on the pitch is another matter entirely, his inclusion is further evidence of just how highly he is regarded by Unai Emery.

Emery has frequently referred to Saka when discussing his options out wide this summer, while the youngster has often been involved in training sessions with the senior squad.

The prospect’s pace, flair and directness makes him extremely difficult to defend against, and it will be intriguing to see how he fares when up against experienced opponents.

Iwobi’s departure demonstrates that there are two different aspects of ‘making it’ at Arsenal – firstly breaking into the first-team squad, which is extremely difficult in itself, and then establishing yourself as a regular over a long period of time.

Saka is just at the beginning of his journey, but Iwobi’s departure could prove to be hugely beneficial for him.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego

Excited to see this one’s progress. He looks like he could be a special player!

Rich
Rich

Emery has spoken about the need for wingers a fair bit.

Last season we were reliant on our wing backs for width, with Bellerin, Kolasinac and Niles on the overlap, and was the reason we ended up with 3 at the back.

Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Iwobi’s instincts were to drop off into pockets.

Nelson, Saka, Pepe will give us a more direct route to goal, and Ceballos looks like a player who can transition more quickly than Xhaka, who’s a player I like, but he’s a bit one paced, and like Ozil is probably more suited to playing at home rather than away.

Hopefully our home form doesn’t suffer at the expense of trying to fix our away form

Goonereality
Goonereality

Home form vs away form was certainly a problem last season – until the home form collapsed as well at the very end. While accepting everything you say, the goods sides do seem to manage to do both.

Goonereality
Goonereality

*good

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

This one could be the best of the bunch

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

What I saw of himast season he looked very promising.

Gabe
Gabe

One Nigerian benefiting from the departure of another Nigerian. Great times ahead.

Arsenio
Arsenio

Ghanian.

Deep

Isn’t he England born?
And Nigerian descent, i guess.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

This kid is amazing, he has great pace and loves to take on people. With some game time, good advice, and patience he will make the first team in 2 seasons.

Goonereality
Goonereality

Yes, but let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of so many other promising youngsters – loaned out and then released or sold for a pittance. The new management team have talked the talk, but it’s whether we give youngsters like Saka a fair chance when the opportunity arises that count.

DyGooner
DyGooner

Start in the making!

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Really like the look of Saka. ESR should also benefit from.Iwobi’s departure

ToucanSam
ToucanSam

I would of thought he was a candidate for a loan spell … he is a very exciting prospect. I thought he has acquitted himself well in the games I have seen. Always positive and a threat.