7 outstanding stats which prove that Bukayo Saka is undeniably world class

Bukayo Saka has long been considered one of football’s most promising young players, but with his performances this season, it’s become clear that it’s more than just potential – he is absolutely world-class.

Since breaking into the Arsenal first-team as a 17-year-old back in 2018, Saka has quietly gone from strength to strength and embedded himself into the culture at the Emirates, quickly becoming a beacon of hope – and subsequently one of the pillars in a major rebuild story.

Emerging as a versatile left-back, it wasn’t long before the Englishman’s qualities saw him move further up the pitch. Despite Arsenal’s continuous wobbles prior to Mikel Arteta’s arrival, Saka always looked destined for the top.

Six years will have passed since that debut later in 2024, and it is now difficult to name too many other right-wingers in world football who are as consistently devastating as Saka.

Under Arteta, Arsenal have clawed their way back to the upper echelons of the Premier League and made their return to the Champions League. Saka has been absolutely pivotal to that revival and is now shining for both club and country.

At just 22 years old, he’s been capped 32 times by England and has over 100 goal contributions in 210 appearances for the Gunners. That is ridiculous.

With Arsenal under constant scrutiny and now concerning themselves with the tireless task of chasing down Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, it’s not too often that they get their flowers.

Their title charge collapsing in 2022-23 and the lack of Champions League football leaves some casting doubt over Saka’s credentials as a world-class winger, but it’s becoming harder and harder to dispute the idea.

So far in 2023-24, Saka has weighed in with 13 goals and 13 assists in all competitions from just 31 games.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story, because he’s truly joyous to watch when he’s twisting and tying defenders up in knots on the right flank, but for the sake of arguments, they help massively in proving that the 22-year-old is now up there with the very best right-wingers in the game.

Crucially, now that a vein of being consistently lethal appears to have developed within Saka, he’s very quickly approaching unstoppable territory and to see him take these performances to Champions League knockout nights under the floodlights will be a real treat.

For now, though, we’re concerned with silencing the doubters (*cough* Rio Ferdinand *cough*). Here are seven stats which prove that Saka has unlocked world-class levels.

– Bukayo Saka has now scored more Premier League goals (six in five games) than any other player in 2024.

– Since the start of last season, Saka is one of only five players to score at least seven Premier League goals with both feet, alongside Ollie Watkins, Mohamed Salah, Erling Haaland and Son Heung-min (via @OptaAnalyst).

– To add to that, since the start of the 2021/22 season, Saka and Salah are the only two Premier League players to have registered 40+ goals and 30+ assists. Elite company to be in.

– Following his brace in Arsenal’s 5-0 thrashing of Burnley at Turf Moor, Saka has now scored or assisted 18 goals in the Premier League so far this season. Only 3 players have more (via @StatmanDave).

– Only Viktor Gyokeres (188) and Kylian Mbappe (183) have had more touches inside the opposition box than Saka (181) across Europe’s top seven leagues. Can’t stop the kid.

– Saka has become the youngest player (22 years, 159 days) to reach 50 goals for Arsenal since Frank Stapleton in 1978, reaching the milestone on his 210th game for the Gunners.

– His brace against Burnley also made it the first time in his career that the 22-year-old has scored in four consecutive Premier League appearances. Turned a corner.

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