This Arsenal Ace Should Be Given More Chances In The First-Team: He Can Add A New Element To The Attack

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on April 26, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka made quite an impression for Arsenal against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League in midweek. The youngster scored a goal and provided the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal as the Gunners secured a hard-fought 3-0 win.

It has led to suggestions that Saka deserves more opportunities in the first-team. However, there are a lot of aspects of this analogy. And in this article, we will talk about Saka’s prospects in the Arsenal first-team.

How can Saka fit into the Arsenal side?

Saka is predominantly a left-winger, though he can also feature on the opposite flank and even as a left-back. That bodes well for an Arsenal side, who already have Nicolas Pepe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the right flank. It means that the youngster will mainly have to compete with Reiss Nelson.

Fortunately for him, Nelson hasn’t really made an impact after returning to Emirates this summer. Hence, Saka has a decent chance of making a breakthrough if he can continue outperforming the ex-Hoffenheim star. 

But, things could get tricky once Alexandre Lacazette returns to full fitness. The Frenchman’s absence forced Unai Emery to deploy Aubameyang in a number nine slot, thus leaving the left-wing area quite vacant. Emery did, however, tweak his formation to create a number ten slot instead.

And with Lacazette returning, Aubameyang will likely continue his duties at left-wing. The only hope for Saka is that the Gabonese international continues to perform and convince Emery to keep playing him in the number nine position, possibly alongside Lacazette.

How can Saka improve the Arsenal attack?

Arsenal have a lot of explosive wingers like Pepe, Nelson and even Maitland-Niles, though he has predominantly featured as a right-back so far. They all have pace and provide a threat on the counter.

Saka, however, is a different kind of attacker. Although he is blessed with a sheer amount of pace, what makes him such a unique player is his control over the ball. Indeed, the youngster has a low centre of gravity, which allows him to keep his balance and nestle through spaces.

The 18-year-old also has a lot of composure on the ball and rarely gets overwhelmed by the attention from the opposition side. He notably eased through the Eintracht pressure in midweek, and if he can evade the aggressive press of the Bundesliga side, he will likely thrive in the Premier League as well. Therefore, Emery should definitely look to integrate Saka into a first-team and give him a more prominent role. 

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.