Arshavin singles out young gun Saka as Arsenal’s key man

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 4 min read
Arshavin singles out young gun Saka as Arsenal’s key man

Bukayo Saka has been singled out as one of Arsenal’s most important players by Andriy Arshavin.

The 19-year-old Saka has enjoyed a stunning rise over the past two years. Having made his Premier League debut in 2019, he is already one of the club’s most important offensive players and has four England caps to his name.

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Arshavin, who turned out for the Gunners between 2009-2013, said, however, that if Arsenal want to achieve their objectives this season, they must perform well as a team.

When asked by UEFA over the club’s most vital player if they are to win the Europa League this season, the former Russia attacker said: “I like some young players like Bukayo Saka, but you know, as always, if you want to win you have to talk about team performance. It’s more important. One player can of course decide one game, maybe two games, but to go all the way through, you must be strong as a year. This a point for Mikel Arteta to get everyone together.”

Aubameyang can finish as Europa League top scorer

Meanwhile, Arshavin also tipped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to star at the cutting edge of the Europa League – as well as one Tottenham star.

“There are so many teams in the competition and every team has at least one good player,” he said when asked to pick out one outstanding figure. “But I want to spotlight some players from the Premier League.

“For example, from Tottenham, it’s Son Heung-Min. I think he’s been doing very well in the league and also in the Europa League. And also, I guess Aubameyang could be the top scorer, too, at the end of the competition if Arsenal go far.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has received mixed reviews for his performances this season at Arsenal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has received mixed reviews for his performances this season at Arsenal.

Arshavin’s most memorable matches

Meanwhile, Arshavin was asked to pick out the most memorable game of his career. For many Arsenal fans, that would be his four-goal contribution in an incredible 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield. That is not the case for Arshavin, though.

“Normally, it was more for the national team,” he said. “Against Netherlands in Euro 2008, the qualifying game against England at home, when we beat them 2-1 and also, I think one of the most memorable games was the final of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup against Rangers, when Zenit St Petersburg won.”

Arsenal remain very much alive in the Europa League this term, having drawn 1-1 with Olympiacos in the first leg of their last-16 tie last Thursday.