Bukayo Saka has been hailed as the best young player in the Premier League by Arsenal teammate Alexandre Lacazette as the Gunners prepare to welcome Greek side Olympiakos to the Emirates for their Europa League round of 32-second leg clash today.
Saka who is eligible to represent Nigeria has been a revelation for the Gunners this season since making his debut under former manager Unai Emery.
Despite being a winger, the 18-year-old England-born player has proven adept in the left-back and left wing-back positions and has become one of the first names on new boss Mikel Arteta’s teamsheets keeping more experienced natural defenders out of the side.
His assist for Lacazette in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Olympiakos in the first-leg in Greece was his fifth in the competition and the most of any player in the tournament excluding qualifiers.
He followed that up with yet another assist in the London side’s come from behind 3-2 victory against Everton last weekend.
That assist took his tally to ten for the season – the most of any Arsenal players.
Such standout performances, especially for a teenager in his first season in the gruelling grind that is the Premier League, has not gone unnoticed and the player has come in for plenty of praise from all quarters.
And Lacazette has added his voice to the plethora of commentators who believe the Nigeria-eligible player possesses a special talent.
The French striker pointed out that while Saka is far from the finished article, the player’s humility, hunger to improve and ability to learn from criticism marks him out for even greater exploits in the future.
“He is really good, I think he is maybe the best young player in the league,” Lacazette said of Saka in Arsenal’s pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
Lacazette on Bukayo Saka
🗣"He's probably the best young player in the Premier League" #AFC
— Gunners.com (@Gunnersc0m) February 26, 2020
“He needs to improve in a few things but we can see the quality he has and he is humble which is the best thing about him.
“He wants to work and accepts criticism because he wants to improve.”