Just How Impressive was Bukayo Saka at the World Cup?
Last Modified: Dec 23, 2022
If you are English, there can be no denying that the 2022 FIFA World Cup was a missed opportunity. The Three Lions exited at the quarter-final stage after losing to reigning champions France, despite dominating for long periods. But Bukayo Saka was a player that came out of that last eight tussles with his head held high.
The Arsenal winger was a constant threat and regularly made mincemeat out of Les Bleus left-back Theo Hernandez, who is regarded by many as one of the finest left-backs in the world. Indeed his substitution on 78 minutes for Raheem Sterling took many by surprise. It is evident that Saka was England’s biggest threat throughout not just the quarter-final defeat, but throughout the entire duration of his time at the greatest tournament in all of the sports.
The 21-year-old was England’s top scorer in Qatar with three goals and has featured in many publications teams of the tournament. Indeed, memories of that missed penalty against Italy last summer, which saw the European Championships head to Rome rather than home, have been left firmly in the rearview mirror.
Mounting a title challenge at the domestic level
At least Saka and his fellow England teammates Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White have plenty to look forward to upon their return to the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners currently sit top of the Premier League and are an impressive five points clear of reigning champions Manchester City. They will have their work cut out if they are to remain top of the pile in May, but there can be no denying that the 2022/23 season represents the Gunners’ best chance of winning their first English top-flight crown since the Invincibles of 19 years ago.
Saka is the Gunners’ second top scorer behind captain Martin Ødegaard and has won the club's player of the season award for the last two years running. Indeed he is Arsenal’s brightest young star, and his maturity despite his tender years cannot be denied. He has already racked up 155 appearances for the club despite the fact that he only just turned 21 back in September.
The explosive winger is the club’s designated penalty taker, and he has shown time and again that he is the man for the big occasion. If Arsenal is to make this season one to remember, they will need their main man firing on all cylinders.