Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Ayoyinka T. M. Saka[4] (born 5 September 2001) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger or left-back[5] for Premier League club Arsenal and the England national team.

Bukayo Saka
Personal information
Date of birth (2001-09-05) 5 September 2001 (age 19)[1]
Place of birth Ealing, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Position(s) Winger / Left-back[3]
Club information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 7
Youth career
0000–2018 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2018– Arsenal 54 (6)
National team
2017 England U16 2 (1)
2017–2018 England U17 9 (0)
2018– England U18 5 (1)
2018– England U19 10 (4)
2020– England U21 1 (0)
2020– England 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:09, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:23, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

Early yearsEdit

Saka was born in Ealing, Greater London to Nigerian parents,[6] and attended Edward Betham CofE Primary School[7] before Greenford High School.[8] Saka is of Nigerian descent, both of his parents immigrated to London for work from Nigeria.[9] In one of his interviews, Saka stated the importance of his father in his footballing career, "He's a massive inspiration for me. From when I was young, he always kept me grounded, kept me humble."[10]

His name "Bukayo" originates from the Yoruba tribe located in southern Nigeria, meaning "Adds to happiness".[11]

Club careerEdit

He started his career with Arsenal's Hale End academy[12] at the age of 7.[13] Once he turned 17 years old, Saka was given a professional contract by Arsenal and promoted to the under-23 side.[12]

On 29 November 2018, Saka made his senior competitive debut for Arsenal in their Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava. He came on as a 68th minute substitute for Aaron Ramsey.[14] On 13 December 2018, Saka made his first full home debut for Arsenal in their Europa League match against Qarabağ.[citation needed] On 1 January 2019, Saka made his debut in the Premier League in a 4–1 win against Fulham after coming on for Alex Iwobi in the 83rd minute.[15]

2019-20: Breakthrough and FA Cup winEdit

Saka scored his first senior goal on 19 September, curling a fine effort from long range into the corner away to German side Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League. He finished the match with two assists also to his name in a 3–0 win.[16] Saka was rewarded for his efforts in Germany with his first Premier League start, in a 3–2 home win over Aston Villa. He then registered an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, setting up the Gunners equaliser in a 1–1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United.[17]

Following injuries to Sead Kolašinac and Kieran Tierney, Saka began to establish himself as a regular in the Arsenal first team at left-back. On 27 January 2020, he scored the opening goal in Arsenal's 2–1 FA Cup fourth round victory at Bournemouth after finishing a 22-pass move, as well as assisting the second goal, scored by Eddie Nketiah. The goal was later voted goal of the round by the BBC.[18] After a two-week mid-season break, Saka marked his return to action at home to Newcastle United with an assist for Nicolas Pépé's goal.[19] He then set up Alexandre Lacazette for his ninth assist of the season in a 1–0 win at Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League.[20] He then hit double figures for assists that season after crossing in for Nketiah in a thrilling 3–2 home win against Everton.[21] Further performances against Portsmouth and West Ham United further strengthened his grip in the first team.[citation needed]

On 1 July 2020, Saka signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal.[22] Head coach Mikel Arteta praised Saka and said: "I think he represents every value that this football club stands for. He has come through the academy, and earned his respect with hard work and accountability and you can see the progression that he is having as a player but as well as a person."[23] He scored his first Premier League goal for the club against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a half volley beating goalkeeper Rui Patrício, in a 2–0 win.[24] Saka was an unused substitute as Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2–1 to win their 14th FA Cup.[25] Saka was the second runner-up of the Arsenal Player of the Season award in the 2019/20 season, commanding 10 per cent vote.[26]

2020-21Edit

On 28 August 2020, Saka was in the starting 11 and registered an assist in the 2020 FA Community Shield, which Arsenal clinched a 5-4 victory over Liverpool in the penalty shootout after the match was 1-1 after 90 minutes.[27] On 26 December 2020, he scored his third Premier League goal on his 40th appearance in a 3–1 win over Chelsea.[28] Due to his stellar performance in December 2020, he was later voted as the Player of the Month on Arsenal official website.[29] He was voted as the Player of the Month again in January, having scored three goals and provided one assist in 6 appearances across all competitions, in which his goal against West Brom was voted as the running up of the Goal of the Month on Arsenal official website.[30][31] Saka was named Player of the Month for the third time in February after contributing one goal and two assists, claiming 48 percent of the votes.[32]

On 6 March 2021, Saka made his 50th Premier League appearance for Arsenal in a 1-1 draw against Burnley; he's the second youngest player in club history to reach that milestone.[33] On 15 April, Saka scored a goal and helped Arsenal to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Slavia Prague in the quarter final of the Europa League. After his fine performance, he had been named as the Europa League Player of the Week.[34][35]

International careerEdit

Born in England, Saka is of Nigerian descent.[36] Saka has represented England at under-16, under-17,[37] under-18,[38] under-19 and under-21 level.[39]

In May 2018, Saka was included in the England under-17 squad as they hosted the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.[40] The hosts were eliminated by the Netherlands at the semi-final stage on a penalty shootout although Saka scored his spot kick.[41]

In September 2018, Saka scored the winner for the England under-18 team in an away game against France.[38] In November 2018, Saka received his first call-up to the England under-19 team.[42] He scored on his debut at that age level in a qualifier against Moldova.[43]

On 4 September 2020, Saka made his debut for England U21s during a 6–0 victory away to Kosovo.[44]

On 1 October 2020, Saka was called up to the England senior squad for the first time,[45] and made his international debut as one of the starters in a 3–0 victory over Wales.[46] Having played four times for England, Saka is now tied to England internationally and can no longer represent Nigeria.[47]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 18 April 2021
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup EFL Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Arsenal 2018–19[48] Premier League 1 0 1 0 0 0 2[a] 0 4 0
2019–20[49] Premier League 26 1 4 1 2 0 6[a] 2 38 4
2020–21[50] Premier League 27 5 2 0 2 0 7[a] 2 1[b] 0 39 7
Total 54 6 7 1 4 0 15 4 1 0 81 11
Career total 54 6 7 1 4 0 15 4 1 0 81 11
  1. ^ a b c Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Appearance in FA Community Shield

InternationalEdit

As of match played 18 November 2020[51]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
England 2020 4 0
Total 4 0

HonoursEdit

Arsenal

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bukayo Saka: Overview". ESPN. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Bukayo Saka: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Bukayo Saka: Profile". worldfootball.net. HEIM:SPIEL. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Bukayo Saka". England Football Online. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  5. ^ Winterburn, Sarah (26 January 2021). "Bukayo Saka is an Arsenal teenage dream". Football News -. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  6. ^ Oludare, Shina (8 July 2020). "Saka: Ikpeba wants Arsenal star invited to Super Eagles". Goal.com. Perform Group. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Issue 33 - 17th June 2019.pdf" (PDF).
  8. ^ Watts, Charles; Clementine, Katherine (13 December 2018). "Arsenal FC's Bukayo Saka: The young Ealing-born player making his senior debut". MyLondon. Reach. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  9. ^ "10 things you may not know about Bukayo Saka - Arsenal's new number 7". GiveMeSport. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  10. ^ Benge, James (20 September 2019). "Ljungberg, Ronaldo and his father - The men who made Saka". Football.London. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  11. ^ Hendrix, Hale (5 October 2019). "Bukayo Saka Childhood Story Plus Untold Biography Facts". LifeBogger. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b Wheatley, Chris (20 November 2018). "Meet Bukayo Saka: The latest Arsenal academy star making a name for himself". Goal.com. Perform Group. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Why Saka could be a future Arsenal captain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Vorskla vs Arsenal". Soccerway.
  15. ^ "Arsenal news: Emery excited by Saka's Arsenal debut". Goal.com. Perform Group. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Arsenal beat Eintracht in opener" – via www.bbc.com.
  17. ^ "Arsenal hold Man Utd at Old Trafford". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  18. ^ "FA Cup: Arsenal's Bukayo Saka strike voted goal of the fourth round". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Arsenal 4–0 Newcastle: Gunners beat Magpies to end run of draws". BBC Sport. 16 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Olympiakos 0–1 Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette helped by team-mates' support, says Mikel Arteta". BBC Sport. 21 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Arsenal 3–2 Everton: Aubameyang nets twice as Arsenal beat Everton in thriller". BBC Sport. 23 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Bukayo Saka signs new long-term contract". Arsenal F.C. 1 July 2020.
  23. ^ "'He represents every value this club stands for'". Arsenal F.C. 1 July 2020.
  24. ^ "A week I will remember for life - Saka" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  25. ^ Association, The Football. "2020 Heads Up FA Cup Final: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea". www.thefa.com. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Arsenal Player of the Season: In third place..." www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  27. ^ Association, The Football. "Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (5-4 on penalties)". www.thefa.com. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Arsenal 3–1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 26 December 2020.
  29. ^ "🏆 Saka is our December Player of the Month! 😎". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  30. ^ "🏆 Saka is our Player of the Month... again!". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Kieran Tierney tops January Goal of the Month poll". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  32. ^ "🏆🏆🏆 Saka makes it a hat-trick of POM awards!". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  33. ^ "Xhaka error gifts Burnley point". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  34. ^ Dean, Sam; Zeqiri, Daniel (15 April 2021). "Impressive Arsenal tear Slavia Prague apart to set up Unai Emery reunion". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  35. ^ "Saka bags Europa League award after Slavia Prague display". Yardbarker. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  36. ^ Abayomi, Tosin. "Bukayo Saka and Arthur Okonkwo get professional contracts at Arsenal". Pulse.ng.
  37. ^ "Bukayo Saka at UEFA U17". UEFA. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  38. ^ a b "England U18s beat hosts France to seal Limoges title with three wins from three games". The Football Association. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  39. ^ "Bukayo Saka at UEFA U19". UEFA. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  40. ^ "England U17s squad revealed for U17 Euro finals on home turf". The Football Association. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  41. ^ "England 0–0 Netherlands". UEFA. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  42. ^ "England U19s squad named as they begin their Euro campaign with qualifiers in Turkey". The Football Association. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  43. ^ "Bukayo Saka scores on England Under-19 debut". Arsenal F.C. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  44. ^ "Young Lions extend winning run thanks to second-half onslaught in Kosovo". The Football Association. 4 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  45. ^ "England squad: Dominic Calvert-Lewin called up but Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden left out". BBC Sport. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  46. ^ McNulty, Phil (8 October 2020). "England 3–0 Wales". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  47. ^ Price, Steve. "FIFA Eligibility Rule Change Offers World Cup Hopes For 'One-Cap Wonders'". Forbes. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  48. ^ "Games played by Bukayo Saka in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  49. ^ "Games played by Bukayo Saka in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  50. ^ "Games played by Bukayo Saka in 2020/2021". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  51. ^ "Saka, Bukayo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
    McNulty, Phil (15 November 2020). "Belgium 2–0 England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
    McNulty, Phil (18 November 2020). "England 4–0 Iceland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  52. ^ McNulty, Phil (1 August 2020). "Arsenal 2–1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  53. ^ Sanders, Emma (29 August 2020). "Arsenal 1–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  54. ^ Bevan, Chris (29 May 2019). "Chelsea 4–1 Arsenal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 May 2019.

External linksEdit

  • Profile at the Arsenal F.C. website
  • Profile at the Football Association website