Bukayo Saka scored his 12th goal and provided his 10th assist of the 2018/19 campaign against Leicester City on Friday, as he continues to push for senior opportunities.
The Arsenal u23s made a blistering start to their clash with Leicester at the Emirates Stadium, racing into a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. That was mostly thanks to Saka, as he had a hand in all three of the goals.
First, the 17-year-old winger was brought down in the box for a penalty, which spot-kick specialist Charlie Gilmour converted. A few minutes later, Saka set up Tyreece John-Jules to score Arsenal’s second, before the striker returned the favour by setting Saka up for a third.
After that Saka continued to create chances and force saves for the remainder of the first half, before he came off early in the second. He now has 12 goals, 10 assists and two penalties won leading to goals this season.
It says something about how well Saka is playing for his age that it’s not clear whether he came off early so he’d be available from the bench for the u18s on Saturday or the first-team on Sunday!
Saka’s already shown he can adapt to senior football if given the opportunity, as he was excellent in his first start at the Emirates Stadium back in the Europa League group stage.
Perhaps it’s not the right time to give Saka games right now, as there’s so much at stake in every match, but if there’s an injury or a chance to rotate suddenly arises, Emery could do a lot worse than to look to the academy star for help.