Europa league: Saka dazzles Olympiakos


Bukayo Saka yet again dazzled with an all-round awe-inspiring display as Arsenal defeated Olympiacos in their round 32 clash of the Europa league

The scintillating youngster has come a long way since the days of Hale End, and having broken into his side’s first team this season, he has not looked back.

He was meant to thrive upfront, alongside Nicolas Pepe on the attacking flanks, finding the target and running at defences, or slipping in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette but then lightening struck.

Eyebrows were raised when Freddie Ljungberg opted to push the teenager further back to plug the gap in the left defensive channel due to an injury crisis that befell the club, with all and sundry knowing fully well that he is an out-and-out winger who loves to take on opposing defenders, creating and laying on goals as well as scoring them.

Saka obliged, choosing to fly by the seat of his pants but what has followed thus is unmistakably, one of the biggest profitable conversion in the division.

Combining grit and hardwork on both ends of the pitch, the London-born starlet has made himself one of the most sought after prospects in world football and there have even been talks Arsenal could lose him to an European heavyweight should they fail to guarantee their place amongst the elites at the end of this season.

Once his club future is sorted which the Gunners hierarchy has made fans to believe they will soon do, that would then bring us straight to his international future.

England manager Gareth Southgate has been keenly watching and observing the growth of the youngster and there are suggestions he could have a role to play for the Three Lions when they play Italy and Denmark in their friendly games next month, and while Saka has professed his love for Nigeria, it will be tantamount to tomfoolery for the NFF to continue to neglect his choice.

Gernot Rohr can give the move to beat their English counterparts to his future a head start by at least handing out a call-up for the qualifiers next month. And this is very much a sensible thing to do at the moment for very plausible reasons.

Firstly, the Franco-German’s options on the left channel are shockingly out of form for their clubs. Ola Aina has been a shadow of himself of late at Torino, Jamilu Collins have yet to play any decent game with Paderborn in recent weeks, and even Samuel Kalu cannot get a game at Bordeaux as he continue to be at loggerheads with the team management.

Also, his inclusion in the Super Eagles firepower is one that will certainly benefit a player like Victor Osimhen who likes to get into danger areas, of course boasting the needed pace, power and quickness to do so, and we all have seen how Saka’s abilities to put in dangerous balls in the final third has profited Arsenal a lot so far.

For the records, Saka already has nine assists this season, the most of any Arsenal player so far, while he has also scored three.

If the basis for invitation to the national team is solely hinged on one’s current form and performances at the biggest of club level, then Bukayo Saka should be getting a look-in for the Super Eagles, and the time can’t be any riper.