Ian Wright was full of praise for Bukayo Saka saying the rising Arsenal star has “gone to another level”, speaking on the Ringer FC Podcast.
The pundit’s rush of superlatives stemmed from Saka’s performance against Leeds United last week. The 19-year-old was once again a major influence as Arsenal beat Marcelo Bielsa’s side 4-2.
Saka’s development has been extraordinary this season, with many seeing him as certain to make England’s European Championship squad this summer.
Love from above
Wright is one of those leading the Saka fan club and the Arsenal legend had nothing but kind words for the prodigy.
He said: “(Saka) is a generational talent.
“What he’s doing right now, holding up the club and everything he’s doing. His form. He’s gone to another level.
“He’s a generational talent simply because of what he’s capable of doing. You can see him actively getting better.”
It’s hard to disagree Saka has been Arsenal’s most influential player this year.
Five goals and assists from 28 appearances in all competitions is some return for a player who doesn’t turn 20 until September.
Saka has mainly shone on the right of Arsenal’s attacking quadrant but Mikel Arteta hasn’t been afraid to use him on the opposite side or at left-back.
His versatility has been an extremely useful tool for the Gunners. However, Wright wants him to play in one specific position.
Wright said: “I know Mikel was saying, ‘I can use him on the left.’
“But on the right he definitely gives more. That man has to be played in an offensive role for Arsenal – especially now we’ve got (Martin) Odegaard and (Emile) Smith Rowe.
“He needs to be where he can do the most damage. At the moment, it’s from the right.”
Arteta deployed his trio of exciting youngsters behind Aubameyang to full effect against Leeds.
Saka was still in primary school when Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was making his professional debut for Dijon in 2008. Now they’re linking up on the field.
And Wright said he has started to see similarities between the way they’re being treated by teammates.
He said: “This normally happens to experienced players who know what (other players are) capable of.
“Like when Aubameyang gets on the left and cuts inside. None of his (teammates) are going over there.
“You noticed when Saka went through and had the penalty shout, exactly the same respect was shown.
“That’s when you know they’ve gone to another level. Because they’re saying ‘he’s in his place now, don’t crowd him out.’”
Arsenal take on Benfica in Portugal tonight (8pm) in the first leg of their Europa League tie.
- Inzamam-ul-Haq paints grim picture for Pakistan cricket after PSL controversy
- Much-improved Barbados star set to be key West Indies asset at T20 World Cup
- Some West Ham fans react to Watford signing former Hammers man Sanchez
- ‘Don’t be such a chicken squat’ meaning: Dolly Parton quote explained
- ‘Very good’: Bielsa hails left-footed star and two other ‘important’ players for West Ham