Arsenal are set to offer Bukayo Saka a new contract, and not a moment too soon, as he may very well be the best that we’ve seen in some time.
Arsenal are making it a point to lock down their youth stars. Joe Willock just got a new deal, Matteo Guendouzi too, now it’s left to Bukayo Saka, the 18-year-old phenom who has stormed into the starting XI like he’s never belonged anywhere else.
We’ve had youth phenoms before. Plenty of them. In the past five years alone I can name another ten guys that we’ve been excited about from their teenage years. Guys that we thought would change the game and be the next big deal. The closest to come to that was Alex Iwobi and… well, he’s kind of far from the plot now.
But there are so many reasons why Bukayo Saka is different than all the rest. Reasons why he is the guy that will stick, that will become the phenom we expected so many others to be.
So let’s chat. Let’s drum up the hype train on this young man even more than it already is. Unlike most hype trains, this one doesn’t worry me because he’s just so damn good already.
We start at No. 3.
3. He’s younger
A big no-brainer here. You have a higher likelihood of making it if you start the process younger. Most Arsenal prospects, at the age of 17, are still mired in the youth system. They have their eyes set on breaking into the first team by the time they hit 20.
Bukayo Saka has just turned 18 and he’s already threatening to push the Gunners’ all-time record signing Nicolas Pepe to the bench because, plainly put, Saka is just better. That’s what he’s doing at 18. Not since the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin (or another name to be mentioned later) have we had someone so young making such an impact.
Even look at Reiss Nelson or Joe Willock. The promise was there when they were 17, 18, but they weren’t on the cusp of first team stability. Saka is. He’s here. He’s doing it.
More on that later. For now, No. 2.