Why Bukayo Saka would be a great solution for Arsenal
Arsenal had a massive victory on the weekend against Aston Villa as they had to launch a comeback twice with 10-men down to win 3-2.
The player sent off was academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles and it was 18-year-old Bukayo Saka’s misfortune that he had to be sacrificed by Unai Emery after looking fantastic against Frankfurt in the Europa League.
He got 2 assists and 1 goal in a very impressive performance and Unai Emery trusted him to start a Premier League game immediately after.
One of the reasons why the English teenager has been trusted by Emery is not just due to his passion but because of his ability to create.
Arsenal have traditionally always been one of the most creative sides in the Premier League era since the days of Dennis Bergkamp, Cesc Fabregas and Mesut Ozil but with the latter not fancied by Unai Emery, it’s been difficult for Arsenal to create chances this season.
They are fortunate to have two quality strikers in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who can create chances for themselves out of nothing.
However, performances like that are unsustainable in the long-term and they need to find someone who can do that job if Ozil is not going to be used frequently.
The Gunners also sent Henrikh Mkhitaryan on loan to AS Roma, who also provided a similar threat but his lack of form was a massive concern and it was the right move to send him out on loan. This is a tremendous opportunity for Saka as he can play in many positions and has an eye for a pass.
With Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal are in dire need of a creative player.
While Lacazette does drop deep because of his ability to hold up the ball, he’s a decent link player but not a predominantly creative one like Liverpool have in Roberto Firmino, with his tricks, flicks and eye for a pass.
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Lacazette is predominantly a goalscorer and so are the two other forwards that Arsenal have and it’s very hard to find a system in which all 3 of them are not looking for service.
This is a similar problem to what Manchester United faced when they had Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial – with all 3 of them being predominant goalscorers and not creative players.
Manchester City have Leroy Sane or Riyad Mahrez to set up their forward players as they’re predominantly creative players who can also chip in with goals. Saka might provide a similar solution for Arsenal’s fiery attack.