Unai Emery has admitted that Bukayo Saka has become an important player for Arsenal, with the 18-year-old winger setting up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser on Monday.

Bukayo Saka (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)
Bukayo Saka (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)

Saka has made a fantastic start to his first proper season in and around the first team. In four senior appearances for Arsenal so far, he has one goal and three assists.

In all honesty, the teenager should have more assists than that, as he’s created 11 chances, five of which were categorised as ‘big chances’ statistically. Only two of those big chances were scored, both by Aubameyang.

Nicolas Pepe (12) is the only player in the Arsenal squad to have created more chances, despite Saka only playing 260 of Arsenal’s 810 minutes so far. Unai Emery hasn’t failed to notice the winger’s immediate impact.

“I think he’s working and improving, being mature and playing matches in front of each team, tonight it was Manchester United, but his work is natural,” Emery said.

“He is improving. He’s helping us now as an important player. We are going to be calm and patient with him. But if he deserves minutes to have that confidence to help us with this performance is fantastic for us.”

bukayo saka v villa
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal breaks away from Aston Villa defence during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on September 22, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Saka’s performances have been so consistently impressive so far that it’s very likely he won’t feature on Thursday so he can be saved for the next league game against Bournemouth. To be able to say that about a player who turned 18 last month is worth noting. Long may his good form continue.