“Not William Saliba or Gabriel Magalhães”: Rio Ferdinand really impressed by Arsenal player who looks more mature every time he plays

Rio Ferdinand has told his YouTube channel that he loves the way Bukayo Saka always wants to beat the full-back as he backed the Arsenal star for a starting spot at the World Cup.

Saka is flying right now. The 21-year-old has now scored four goals and provided four assists in the Premier League this season. And of course, it was his goal which settled Sunday’s trip to Leeds.

Saka has now scored four times in his last three appearances. And with the World Cup emerging on the horizon, it appears that the youngster is hitting form at the perfect time.

Rio Ferdinand loves Bukayo Saka

He is playing with real confidence. In fairness, Saka has always been excellent for Arsenal – even in the times in which the Gunners were really struggling and incredibly underwhelming to watch.

But he has taken his game to another level this season. And when reflecting on those attacking spots in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup, Ferdinand suggested that Saka is putting himself at the very front of the queue.

“In this form, you can’t look past Saka for that right-wing spot. In an England shirt, he does it as well,” he told his YouTube channel.

“He’s a winger that when he gets it – I’ve watched him a couple of times this year live as well – when he gets it, his first instinct and intentions is to go past you. He wants to attack the full-back. And we spoke to Nani and he said that was his intention. As soon as when he got the ball one-vs-one, his intention was to beat the full-back.

“And I love that about him. He’s got no fear. He’s playing with a bit more maturity every time I see him.”

As Ferdinand suggests, Saka has regularly been able to take his club form onto the international scene. And the frightening thing is he should only get better in the years to come.

It certainly appears that he has benefitted from the way Arsenal now boast serious quality all over the pitch. Defenders cannot solely focus on Saka when the Gunners also have Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard making things happen.

But there is an argument that Saka remains their talisman. No player has had a direct hand in more Premier League goals so far this season.