Bukayo Saka has surprised quite a few people with his form this summer.
Saka has had plenty of opportunities to impress during Euro 2020 having started in the matches against the Czech Republic, Germany & Denmark.
Arsenal fans are now looking forward to his performances in the upcoming season. Many agree that he has shown such a huge amount of potential at this early stage in his career and has a very promising future ahead of him in English and international professional football.
At just 19 years old, Saka is already one of the most talked-about young players in the sport. According to Betsson’s social tracker, Bukayo is one of the most mentioned players in the England squad, earning plaudits from fans and pundits alike.
Fears about his participation at Euro 2020 were raised recently when he was injured during training and was unable to make the squad to the game against Ukraine. These fears were dispelled quickly when the injury turned out to be minor and he was able to join the team at Wembley for the semi-final game against Denmark.
Fellow attacker Jadon Sancho was able to impress in his absence in the Ukraine game. But in the game against Germany, Saka demonstrated his ability to pick the ball up deep and run at the opposition.
This did not go unnoticed by Gareth Southgate who had to pick between Sancho and Saka to start in the semi-final. Sancho is in the process of completing his transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, who he will join after the competition.
As mentioned, Jadon stepped in and started in Saka’s place in the game against Ukraine. Despite his good performance, Southgate still chose Saka to start in the Denmark semi-final.
Arsenal’s youngster has been a real asset to the England team during the competition this season and will certainly hope to continue this form into the new season. His record so far as a professional player is a good indicator that he’ll be successful.
Born in Greater London to parents from Nigeria, Saka started his Arsenal career at just seven years old when he joined the Hale End academy. He is known to be highly academic and did very well in his GCSEs in school, encouraged by his parents and their work ethic, he got top grades in most of his subjects.
In the past, he has stated that his father is a huge influence on him and that it was him the pushed him to stay focused on his football career and keep practicing and improving his game.
He played there throughout his childhood and was offered a professional contract by the club to join the under 23s as soon as he turned 17 years old.
Earlier on in his career, Saka played in the England under 17 squad in 2018 at the European Under-17 Championship and scored on his spot-kick in a penalty shootout against the Netherlands. Shortly after he received his first call up to the under 19s squad and went on to score in the qualifying game against Moldova
Bukayo was the first player to be born in the 21st century to appear in the Premier League. In the 2020 – 2021 Premier League, Saka was named Arsenal Player of the Month multiple times and scored three goals and one assist during just six appearances across competitions.
Following his goal in the quarter-final of the Europa League, he was also given the Europa League Player of the Week title.
In Wednesday’s semi-final game against Denmark, Saka certainly showed why Southgate made the right choice putting him in the starting line-up.
The Danes opened the scoring as Mikkel Damsgaard was given a free kick in the first half. However, Denmark’s lead in the game did not last long thanks to Saka, as the player made a superb low cross that was then put into the back of the net by rival defender Simon Kjaer.
The second goal was then scored by Harry Kane during extra time, making the final score 2-1 to The Three Lions.
Saka is now the youngest English player to start in the semi-final stage of a major football tournament. Spurred on by a crowd of over 67,000 fans, Saka played a leading role in ending the 55-year wait for England to make it into a major final.
So, what does all this mean for Bukayo Saka’s form in the new season?
This is certainly a high point in Saka’s career and shows that he has come a long way since securing his first professional contract at 17. If these first couple of years are anything to go by, the future is extremely bright for Arsenal’s Bukayo.