Lucy Ward has told BT Sport (broadcast on 13/10; 18:09) that Bukayo Saka is a gem after the Arsenal forward gave the visitors the lead in their Europa League tie with Bodo/Glimt on Thursday.
Saka broke the deadlock midway through the first-half. He did require a piece of fortune. But that only came after some brilliant work down the Gunners’ right flank.
Saka produced a lovely one-two with Eddie Nketiah. The striker found his teammate breaking into the box with a perfect lay-off. From there, the England international drove towards the six-yard box.
Saka is a gem
The 21-year-old initially tried to tuck the ball into the far corner. However, the block sent the ball back up to Saka’s face. And it ended up trickling across the line to put the Premier League leaders in front.
Ward noted that Saka would have known very little about the goal itself. But she was full of praise for the build-up to the ‘header’ and for Saka’s development.
“What a gem Saka is on that right-hand side for Arsenal,” she told BT Sport. “He’s really showed his maturity this season. Give and go, they’ve made it look simple. But when they decide to turn up the intensity, they decide to get a little bit quicker. Strangest goal he’ll ever score, but the movement was there.”
Saka has been a little quiet on the goalscoring front so far this season. But he did get two crucial goals against Liverpool at the weekend.
And he has now opened his account in the Europa League for the campaign.
What is so exciting for Arsenal is that Saka is far from being the only player in frightening form for Mikel Arteta’s men right now.
They are causing problems all over the pitch. And, having rotated their ranks in Norway, it does appear that they hope to be a threat in both the Europa League and Premier League this season.