Schoolboy Saka’s development offers encouragement for Arsenal

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Arsenal have a host of impressive talents in their academy setup at present and Bukayo Saka is certainly amongst them.

The winger, who possesses pace and flair in abundance, is still a schoolboy but has been heavily involved for the Gunners at U18 level this season and has been one of the side’s most consistent performers.

Saka’s confidence in taking players on has yielded him much success this season and he has made a significant impact in the U18 league, scoring four times and providing two assists in ten appearances.

In addition, Saka has helped Arsenal U18s to progress in both the FA Youth Cup and the Premier League Cup and if Kwame Ampadu’s side secure any silverware this campaign then the England youth international will certainly have made a significant contribution.

There is a possibility that Saka could break into the U23 squad before the conclusion of the campaign and if he was to fulfil that objective then that would set him up well for next season, when he will be a full-time scholar.

Saka relishes cutting inside and playing precise passes into the path of attackers and he has been brimming with confidence this campaign, which is of little surprise given how impressively he has been playing.

In addition to his attacking attributes, Saka is a hard-working player who takes care not to neglect his defensive responsibilities.

There are many aspects of Saka’s playing style which conjure up memories of when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was playing for Arsenal U18s and the prospect’s ultimate aim will be to follow in the footsteps of his fellow Hale End graduate by eventually making the step up to the first-team.

For a schoolboy, this season couldn’t have gone much better for Saka, who has even made more of an impact than some of the older members of the U18 squad.

It is clear that Saka has been earmarked as a player with vast potential and he will be eager to carry on developing, with the hope being that Arsenal U18s will lift silverware of some description this season.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

 

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20 Comments on "Schoolboy Saka’s development offers encouragement for Arsenal"

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Clipper

Just been called up by England u18’s….as a defender!?

Andy Mack

He’s another one with enormous potential.
Lets hope that in a few years time he can make the step up to senior level and be a first team player.
We’ve had so many youngsters with potential that don’t make that last step.
I still find it hard to understand how guys like JET and Aneke didn’t make it…

Peter Ho

Yeah. I had such high hopes for them and Henri Lansbury. What are they up to nowadays?

Andy Mack

Aneke is at MK dons and Lansbury is at Villa but I’ve no idea where JET is now…

gooner1981

It feels sometimes like these kids, not just at our academy, but in most academies at big clubs, think or are made to believe that they’re going to make it by the time they’re 19,20,21. It seems easy to think everyone is going to make it like a Fabregas, Messi, Bellerin, Rooney……
They seem unwilling to bide their time, learn from the senior players and wait for a chance, or decide to move before their development is complete- probably because someone else tells them they’ll get a chance elsewhere. Or they’re out of touch with reality. Or lack the temperament.

I can’t think of any player who left us as an U21/U18 youth player, who made the first team at a big club or big 5 league without dropping down a level. Afobe went a level below, gained some momentum and then moved to a Premier League club. That kid who moved to Wolfsburg with Jonkers seems to have played a couple of games and then vanished into the reserves. Bentley was already a first-team player. If there’s anyone, I’d like to know of course.

locksley444

I think that’s an unfair portrayal of players leaving the club at the youth level. There are enough examples of young players staying around until they 19-20 and getting loaned out before they decide they aren’t going to make it at Arsenal.

Most of them are probably more in touch with reality and they realize its pretty hard to make it at Arsenal or another PL club. Your point about our youth players not making it elsewhere in the big leagues proves exactly that. Also, there are others that leave to learn E.g. Willock, Chamberlain, Marcus Mcguane(just joined barcelona B)

beeflames

Bukayo Saka…good to see another Nigerian progressing @arsenal…Iwobi u’ve gat to turn the heat up now.

badaab

I’m resisting the urge to do a ‘secret tunnel’ parody for this young lad, but wouldn’t that make a fantastic song from the stands?

steve

No surprises there, the further away from Wenger’s coaching input and influence the higher the potential for development.
I just feel bad for the likes of Iwobi, Holding and Bellerin – young guys who have had the misfortune to see there progression handled by an inferior mentor.
Luckily the likes of Saka, Amaechi, Coyle, John-Jules etc should miss the detrimental effects of Wenger’s tenure and will hopefully benefit from new management in the near future.
Best of luck to Maitland-Niles is all i can say, lets just hope his development doesn’t begin to somehow go backwards like the rest who have gone before him – i’m sure intermittent selection in high stakes matches completely out of position will help to negate this worry trend lol.

kalbo

Boo to the nth power.

And one more boo for that lol at the end.

para

AW tries to change them from what they are to shoe horn them into Arsenal, which has hardly ever worked, and the players end up disillusioned and end up leaving.

Gonzo gunner

You spelled wingback wrong.

DBMÖ10

Yay ! Our new Wingback ! ?

steve

No surprises there, the further away from Wenger’s coaching input and influence the higher the potential for development.
I just feel bad for the likes of Iwobi, Holding and Bellerin – young guys who have had the misfortune to see there progression handled by an inferior mentor.
Luckily the likes of Saka, Amaechi, Coyle, John-Jules etc should miss the detrimental effects of Wenger’s tenure and will hopefully benefit from new management in the near future.
Best of luck to Maitland-Niles is all i can say, lets just hope his development doesn’t begin to somehow go backwards like the rest who have gone before him – i’m sure intermittent selection in high stakes matches completely out of position will help to negate this worrying trend lol.

Owen

I’ve watched this lad play.. I must confess he’s really a top prospect

YaGunnersYa

Congratulations, Bukayo Saka! I wish him all the best of he becomes a Scholar next year.

We seem to have an abundance of talent among the youth ranks in the midfield, yet considering out first team, I really hope some defenders can break through. What of Tolaji Bola, Jeorge? He’s good enough to play for the England youth, so what do you think about his prospects of being given a chance to train with the 1st team?

Samgunz

Amaechi.