Arsenal have found themselves as the clear cut favorites for the Premier League title this season. Arteta’s squad features a litany of players who have hit their top form to push the Gunners over the top. Out of all these players only one stands as the Prem’s MVP, Bukayo Saka.
Saka’s explosion onto the footballing scene last year was the appetizer for this year’s main course. The tricky winger has shown himself to be an incredible creative force that can assist and score at an elite level.
Arteta has overseen a revival for the much maligned London side thanks, in large part, to the explosion of young players. Saka has been the best example of this, as his production has allowed Arsenal to make a sustained push for the title. Having already hit double digits in both goals and assists, he’s having a truly remarkable season.
Player comps are often a fool’s errand, as there is no way to truly compare different players, but Saka is if Alexis Sanchez had led Arsenal to the top. Just like how Sanchez was the best player on his Arsenal sides, Saka lifts his teammates up to another level. By being the centerpiece of a title contender, the Englishman has declared his case for MVP.
While Earling Haaland will undoubtedly break some goalscoring records, Saka is the clear MVP favorite. If Arsenal wins the title, he will forever etch his name into Arsenal lore.
The revolution that has hit Arsenal has largely been based on building a contending level by trusting the youth. No other player has embodied this movement as Saka.
Combining the creativity of a young Neymar with the goal scoring ability from the wing of a prime Eden Hazard, Saka is a special talent. His production has forced the Gunners into an improbable title challenge. No other player has matched what that production has meant to his side, not even Haaland.
In a side with plenty of creative players, Saka stands as the best. Notching 10 assists with 10 games left, he finds himself on the leaderboard for assists in the Prem. Tailing only de Bruyne, Saka has transformed into one of the league’s elite playmakers.
Assisting is one thing, but Saka’s movement forces defenders to track him off ball constantly. This focus constantly opens space for his teammates and allows him to be dangerous no matter if he’s on ball.
With Jesus missing most of the season so far, Arsenal have needed a player to score at a level that would keep them in the title race. Saka has done that and more, cutting in from the wing to unleash venom towards the net. He’s not a true striker but is able to use the space created to hit from the outside or finish in tight spaces.
Haaland is having a historic season, and may well be a top five player on Earth, but Saka has been the heartbeat of a title contender. City has hit another level with Haaland, but they were still a great side without him. Arsenal without Saka would probably be challenging for a Europa Conference League spot rather than the title.
Arsenal has finally forced all the bad vibes out of the club by embodying Arteta’s vision and allowing Saka to be the team’s leader. Now with Arsenal on the cusp of a title, Saka has announced himself as the best player in the Prem.
Alexis Sanchez was the last player, alongside Mesut Özil, to light up the Prem with Arsenal like this. It’s no wonder why the Englishman has modeled his game after the mercurial Chilean.
In an era of Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez, Sanchez is often underrated given the lack of trophies at club level. However, Sanchez was a brilliant forward who could play on either wing or through the middle. The Chilean is far removed from his prime, but at his peak, he was arguably the best player in the Prem.
Sanchez’s brilliance came from his ability to navigate through tight spaces to fire off a shot or find a teammate. His individual talent, along with his German counterpart, brought Arsenal out of a malaise that befell the club after losing van Persie. While Sanchez was never truly appreciated in his time, it seems that Saka is his rightful replacement.
The Englishman is at his best when he’s given the chance to cook like Sanchez. Those little maneuvers that mesmerize fans and defenders alike have shades of the Chilean. Each little touch opens up more space for himself and his teammates to attack the backline.
It’s a shame that the Özil and Sanchez era never yielded Arsenal the Premier League title. Now, with a truly gifted set of teammates, Saka has a chance to one up his hero. By hitting these heights at such a young age, the Englishman is on the path to surpass both those Prem legends.
Very few players in the 2010s captured the Prem like Sanchez and he will always be a player fans fondly remember. Saka is not a one for one copy, but he has a chance to do something that his idol never did, win the Prem.
One of the best aspects of the Prem is the gluttony of talent that plays week in and week out. By shining in a field of stars at such a young age, Saka has had a truly remarkable rise. With one hand on the title, Saka deserves another on the league’s best player award.
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