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Bukayo Saka: The Daring Arsenal’s Player of the Season 2020/21 and Rising Star in European Football

Bukayo Saka, Arsenal’s Player of the Season for 2020/21,  has continued proving to the world that he deserves his place as one of the most exciting youngsters in European football.

Bukayo, who joined the Arsenal football club when he was eight years old and was also a product of the Arsenal Hale End Academy, made his first-team debut in 2018 shortly after turning seventeen. His first goal for England came in a June friendly against Austria after he was called up to the team for the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.

In this article, you will find everything about Arsenal’s star boy Bukayo Saka.

Who is Bukayo Saka?

Bukayo Saka, whose full name is Bukayo Ayoyinka T. M. Saka, is an English football player who plays right wing for Arsenal in the Premier League and for the England national team. Saka was born on September 5, 2001. He is often considered one of the world’s best young football players and right-wingers. He is well-known for how swiftly and creatively he attacks.

Saka has spent his entire professional career at Arsenal, becoming one of the club’s most productive and prominent players while winning the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield. He was voted Arsenal’s best Player after the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns.

Saka played for England at different youth levels before making his first appearance with the senior team in October 2020. He was on England’s team at the UEFA Euro 2020 and represented the country at the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Where was Bukayo Saka born?

Saka was born in Ealing, located in Greater London, and was the youngest of two children. His parents, Adenike and Yomi Saka, who are ethnically from Nigeria, left their home in Nigeria and settled in London to pursue greener pastures. Bukayo Saka is the younger of two children and the product of Yoruba Nigerian parents.

Before moving on to Greenford High School, he had his primary education at Edward Betham Church of England Primary School. While there, he excelled academically, earning high scores in his GCSE examinations, including four A*s and three As.

Before signing with Arsenal, Saka spent his adolescence playing football for the nearby team Greenford Celtic. In an interview, Saka discussed the influence that his father, Yomi, has had on his decision to pursue a football career, saying, “He’s a massive inspiration for me.” Since I was a child, he has been the one who has kept me rooted in reality and taught me to value my place in the world.

His name, pronounced “Bukayo,” comes from the Yoruba language, which is spoken in western Nigeria. It translates to “adds to happiness.”

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka Early Career In Arsenal Academy

At seven, Saka transferred to Arsenal’s Hale End academy from Watford, where he had played for the younger teams.

Arsenal U16 coach Trevor Bumstead said of Bukayo, “He always stood out in the younger teams.” in a 2020 interview. He made the best choices possible. He was physically impressive, but more importantly, he had great character and charisma and knew when to dribble an opponent and when to pass. After turning 17, Arsenal signed Saka to a professional contract and advanced him to the club’s under-23 squad.

Saka’s Promotion to Arsenal’s Senior Team

Saka made his first appearance for Arsenal on November 29, 2018, replacing Aaron Ramsey in the 68th minute of a UEFA Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava. Saka made his Arsenal debut on December 13 against Qaraba in the Europa League. After replacing Alex Iwobi in the 83rd minute of Arsenal’s 4-1 win against Fulham on January 1, 2019, Saka made his Premier League debut.

He made history by being the first Premier League player born in 2001. On May 29, he received a runner-up medal despite not playing in the team’s 4-1 loss to Chelsea in the UEFA Europa League final.

2019-20 Season

Bukayo Saka scored his first goal for the Gunners on September 19 against Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany in the Europa League with a superb long-range strike that curled into the corner. The final score was 3-0, and he was credited with two assists. Saka’s hard work in Germany paid off as he was given a starting role in the Premier League’s 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at home. Then, he created an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Arsenal’s equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

After Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney went down with injuries, Saka started to cement his spot in the starting lineup for Arsenal. On January 27, 2020, he finished a 22-pass play to score the opening goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round victory against AFC Bournemouth. He set up Eddie Nketiah for the game-winning goal.

BBC Sport later chose this goal as the goal of the round. After a two-week break in the middle of the season, Saka helped Nicolas Pépé score at home against Newcastle United. In a 1–0 Europa League win at Olympiacos, Bukayo set up Alexandre Lacazette for his ninth goal of the year. After setting up Nketiah in an exciting 3–2 home win over Everton, he had ten assists for the season. His position in the first team got more secure after he played well against Portsmouth and West Ham United.

Saka signed a new contract with Arsenal for an extended period on July 1, 2020. Saka was hailed by head coach Mikel Arteta, who said, “I think he represents everything this football club stands for.” He has gone through the academy and gained respect by working hard and being responsible. You can see how he is growing as a player and as a person.

On July 4, 2020, in a 2–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, he scored his first Premier League goal for the club with a half-volley that beat goalie Rui Patricio. He was on the bench, but Arsenal didn’t use him when they beat Chelsea 2-1 to win their 14th FA Cup. He got the third most votes for the 2019–20 Arsenal Player of the Season award.

2020-21 Season

Bukayo Saka was in the starting lineup for the FA Community Shield on August 29, 2020, and he set up a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. After 90 minutes, the match’s final score was 1-1, and the game went to a penalty shootout, which Arsenal won 5-4 over Premier League champions Liverpool.

Saka scored his first 2020–21 season goal on October 4, when his team beat Sheffield United by 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium. On November 8, Saka turned in Matt Targett’s ball and scored an own goal as Aston Villa beat them 0-3 at home.

In a 3-1 victory over Chelsea at home on Boxing Day 2020, he made his 40th Premier League game for Arsenal and scored a goal. He had such a good month in December 2020 that the Arsenal fans elected him their Player of the Month on the Arsenal website.

His goal against West Bromwich Albion was the runner-up for Arsenal’s Goal of the Month, and his three goals and one assist in six games across all competitions earned him another Player of the Month award in January. With one goal and two assists in February, Saka won the Player of the Month award for the third time in his career, receiving 48% of the votes.

bukayo saka soccer maestros blog

Saka became the second-youngest Player in Arsenal’s history to achieve 50 Premier League appearances on March 6, 2021, when he played in a 1-1 away draw against Burnley. Saka scored one goal and assisted another as Arsenal defeated Slavia Prague 4-0 in the Europa League quarterfinals on April 15.

Although Manchester City’s Phil Foden ultimately won the award, he still got selected for the PFA’s Young Player of the Season shortlist. He displayed a stellar performance and was rewarded with Player of the Week honors in the Europa League. He was chosen Arsenal’s Player of the Season after scoring seven goals and dishing out seven assists in 46 games across all competitions. The year before, he had finished third in the voting.

2021-22 Season

Bukayo Saka scored his first goal of the new season in a 6-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in the second round of the EFL Cup. He not only assisted on Emile Smith Rowe’s goal in a 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium back in September, but he also scored his first Premier League goal of the season.

Saka earned his 100th appearance for Arsenal on October 30 and helped the team beat Leicester City 2-0 on the road to celebrate. Saka recorded his first career hat trick for Arsenal in a 5-0 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road on December 26. By doing so, Saka joined Nicolas Anelka, among Arsenal’s youngest players to score ten goals in the Premier League.

The Gunners ended the season in fifth place, missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification the following year. However, he received many nominations for the Premier League’s top honors, including Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season, and PFA’s Young Player of the Year. After Thierry Henry won the accolade in 2003 and 2004 for Arsenal, Saka became the first Player to win it in back-to-back seasons.

2022-23 Season

Bukayo Saka has been instrumental for Arsenal, scoring crucial goals as they chase their first Premier League championship since 2003-04. In a 3-0 win over Bournemouth on August 20, 2022, he made his 100th Premier League appearance, making him the second-youngest Player in Arsenal’s history to do so. On October 9, he scored twice as Arsenal defeated Liverpool 3-2.

Saka won Arsenal’s Goal of the Month award for January 2023 for his assist on the team’s second goal in their 3-2 comeback victory over Manchester United on January 22, 2023. The game-winning goal came in the 76th minute from the penalty spot. Arsenal would remain in first place until about the middle of February, thanks to the win. On February 18, he scored the first of Arsenal’s two equalizers in a 4-2 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. With this victory, Arsenal reclaimed first place after being dethroned by Manchester City earlier in the week.

Saka was presented the Young Player of the Year award for Men’s category at the 2023 London Football Awards held on March 13. He was nominated as the Premier League’s March 2023 Player of the Month. This was his first time winning the trophy, making him the 22nd different Arsenal player to do so.

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka International Career With England

Bukayo Saka played for England in the under-16, -17, – 18, and -21 levels. When England hosted the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in May, he was a part of the under-17 team. Despite Saka’s penalty kick, the home team was ousted by the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Saka scored the game-winning goal for the England U-18 squad when they traveled to France in September 2018. Saka’s first call-up to the England U-19 squad came in November. In a qualifying match for the 2019 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, he scored on his debut at that age level.

Saka debuted for England’s U-21 national team on September 4, 2020, in a 6-0 road win against Kosovo. On October 1, Saka earned his first appearance for England’s senior team when he was named to the starting lineup for the Three Lions’ 3-0 win over Wales. As a result of Saka’s four previous appearances for England, he is now permanently associated with England on the international stage and can no longer represent Nigeria.

On June 1, 2021, he was chosen as one of the 26 UEFA Euro 2020 team players. Saka scored his first goal for England on June 2 in a friendly against Austria. It was the only goal in a 1-0 win.

He played for England against the Czech Republic in their third Euro 2020 group-stage game on June 22. He was the man of the match in that game. Saka replaced Kieran Trippier in the event final against Italy on July 11.

After regular and extra time, Saka was picked to take the team’s fifth penalty kick in the following shootout. This was his first penalty kick at the top level. When Saka missed the penalty, he faced racial abuse online. Gianluigi Donnarumma, the goalie, saved Saka’s shot, and Italy won the shootout and the title.

Bukayo Saka became the first Player from Arsenal to win the England Men’s Player of the Year award on September 23, 2022. He defeated Declan Rice and Harry Kane to claim the title. On

November 10, Saka was announced as one of England’s 26-man team members for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Saka started for England against France in their quarterfinal loss on December 10 and was voted man of the match by both the BBC and L’Équipe. During England’s opening 6-2 win over Iran and their subsequent 3-0 win over Senegal in the round of 16, he scored twice. England ultimately lost 2-1.

What is Bukayo Saka’s Net worth?

Bukayo Saka’s net worth is estimated at around €2 million. The Arsenal Midfielder currently earns 500,000 Euros per year. Since Saka is still young, his net worth will skyrocket in the coming years if he keeps progressing and maintains his fine form.

The England player owns an Audi A8, Audi Q7, a Range Rover, and a BMW.

Who is Bukayo Saka’s girlfriend?

Both Arsenal and non-Arsenal supporters have been curious about Bukayo Saka’s relationship. Everyone is asking Is Bukayo Saka Married? Does Bukayo Saka have a girlfriend? Who is Saka’s girlfriend? who is Bukayo Saka married to?

Bukayo Saka is in a relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Tolami Benson. But they prefer keeping it on a low profile to avoid attracting too much attention from the media.

Why is Bukayo Saka not playing for Nigeria?

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka says he chose England over Nigeria because of the team’s improvement under Gareth Southgate.

Southgate gave the 19-year-old his first international call-up for England’s forthcoming matches against Wales, Belgium, and Denmark.

The Arsenal player, who could have played for Nigeria or England, said he chose England because of the country’s promising future.

According to Metro UK, Saka added, “I feel proud of my Nigerian heritage.”

He said, “My dad was born here, and my mom was born in Nigeria, but they both grew up in Nigeria and met each other in Nigeria. They arrived, and adjusting to life in a new country, England, was not easy for them. It must be freezing for them there!

“But they adjusted well, and after they had my brother and me, they put us ahead of everything else. I’ll be eternally thankful to my parents for all they’ve done for me, but especially for their support during my football career; my dad drove me to practice on days when it took us two hours to get there”.

Bukayo Saka was born to Yoruba Nigerian parents Adenike and Yomi Saka in the London borough of Ealing. He is the youngest sibling of the couple’s two kids. His parents are Nigerian and came to London in search of jobs.

Bukayo Saka

However, the Arsenal striker Bukayo Saka, of English and Nigerian descent, carried out a medical philanthropy project in Nigeria in October 2022. The England player funded surgery for 120 underprivileged children in Kano.

Saka, who has been outstanding for his English Premier League side, Arsenal, has taken his brilliant play for the Gunners to the pitch to benefit some sick kids in his home country.

According to MSN.com, 21-year-old Saka collaborated with a non-profit organization called BigShoe to offer comprehensive medical treatment to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It was noted that most children “suffered from diseases like inguinal hernias, umbilical hernias, or brain tumors,” however, the surgical procedures performed by a group of five surgeons in the middle of October were successful.

The organization began its work in 2006 and has helped over a thousand kids in need worldwide. Saka, who could not travel to Nigeria due to England’s World Cup preparations in Qatar under Gareth Southgate, expressed his passion for helping and reconnecting with Nigeria.

Personal Life

In interviews, Saka has revealed that Thierry Henry is his favorite Player of all time and that Alexis Sánchez was a significant influence on him, to the point where he sought to replicate Sánchez’s boots in the youth school. Among his former colleagues, David Luiz was the one that benefited Saka the most, both on and off the field, according to Saka.

According to reports, Saka is a devout Christian who reads the Bible before bed every night. Saka still has a place for Nigeria in his heart. He still

Bukayo Saka Position and Style of Play

Bukayo is a very adaptable footballer who can play either fullback or wide forward, where his speed and deceptiveness are lethal. Although he is predominantly an attacking midfielder, Saka can also play in various positions across the midfield and front line.

Honors and Awards

  • Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in 2019–20
  • He was part of the Arsenal team that won the FA Community Shield in 2020
  • UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2018–19
  • UEFA European Championship runner-up 2020
  • He was England Men’s Player of the Year: 2021–22
  • Saka was named Premier League Player of the Month for March 2023
  • He won the Arsenal Player of the Season for the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons, respectively
  • He was listed in the 2021 IFFHS Men’s Youth (U20) World Team
  • The Arsenal player also won the London Football Awards Men’s Young Player of the Year: 2023

5 Fun Facts About Bukayo Saka

  1. Bukayo Saka’s favorite superhero is Thor
  2. Saka is a fan of Ronaldo
  3. Saka collaborated with BigShoe, a charity supported by Paul Pogba, Mesut Ozil, and Philipp Lahm, to provide life-changing surgery for 120 youngsters in Kano, the second biggest city in Nigeria.
  4. After trying out for Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, the teenage England winger ultimately decided to join Arsenal owing to the more straightforward route to advancement, they offered.
  5. Former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nicknamed Saka “Little Chilli” among his teammates.

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