Bukayo Saka is expected to make his second senior start of the season against Blackpool on Saturday, according to reports.

Qarabag's Azerbaijan defender Gara Garayev (L) vies with Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka during their UEFA Europa league Group E football match between Arsenal and FK Qarabag at the Emirates stadium in London on December 13, 2018. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP / Getty Images)
Qarabag’s Azerbaijan defender Gara Garayev (L) vies with Arsenal’s English striker Bukayo Saka during their UEFA Europa League Group E football match between Arsenal and FK Qarabag at the Emirates stadium in London on December 13, 2018. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP / Getty Images)

Football.London write that Saka is ‘expected to get his second senior start’ in the FA Cup clash, after making his Premier League debut from the bench on New Year’s Day against Fulham.

Speaking on the subject, Unai Emery said: “I am using different players because of injuries, but it is important for us to give chances to the young players.

“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.”

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal shoots during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on September 21, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 21: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal shoots during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on September 21, 2018, in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

It’s no surprise to see Saka starting to come into contention for more first-team appearances. With the academy, he has five goals and seven assists in 1,081 minutes this season. That’s a goal contribution every 90 minutes.

When Saka got his first start for the senior side against Qarabag, he was one of the best performers of the night.

The winger only failed to notch an assist because Eddie Nketiah strayed slightly offside for his cross, and he could’ve scored but for a good save from his slightly-nervy finish. Once he settles in, he should start finishing those chances as he does for the youth teams.

The 17-year-old also offers something different from most other players in the squad. No Arsenal star completed more dribbles than Saka in the Europa League group stage, even though he only played 112 minutes of it. That makes him a valuable asset against defences that prove difficult to break down.

If Saka does get his first start in senior domestic cup football, let’s hope it’s a successful one!

Previous articleThe 4 Arsenal stars set for a possible exit from the club this month
Next articleWest Ham United ‘open to selling’ Reece Oxford to Arsenal but may wait until summer
Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.