Bukayo Saka says David Luiz is probably the player to have the biggest impact on him in the early stages of his senior career.
It’s sometimes easy to forget just how rapidly Bukayo Saka has risen through the ranks at Arsenal.
This is a player who started the 2018/19 season in the Arsenal u18s – not even the u23s – and he’s now up to 100 appearances for the first team and has a guaranteed starting spot, as well as making himself an England regular.
That’s thanks to a number of coaches who have shown faith in him, from Freddie Ljungberg and Unai Emery to Mikel Arteta, but it’s also with the help of Saka’s Arsenal and England teammates.
When asked which of those teammates helped him the most, Saka named Brazilian centre-back David Luiz.
“I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of different players but I would say probably the biggest impact – probably David Luiz,” Saka said.
“He has done the most for me in my career, to go into the first team was obviously not always the easiest experience but, and I think if you say this to all of the young players at Arsenal, [they’d say] David done so much.
“He went out of his way to do a lot for us – advice on and off the pitch, yeah he was a really good guy. There has been loads of other players at Arsenal of course, but I’d probably say David.”
This is far from the first time we’ve heard about David Luiz’s positive impact on the younger members of Arsenal’s squad. He got along well with them and often defended them publicly.
Luiz probably didn’t quite have the Arsenal spell he was hoping for, with all his red cards and failing to help the team back into the Champions League before leaving for Flamengo.
But with the FA Cup win and his influence on the likes of Saka, he does at least leave some legacy at Arsenal.