Football

Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka can become ‘world class’, claims Lauren


Saka has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent players this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Lauren has hailed the impact of Arsenal’s youngsters and believes Bukayo Saka has the potential to become ‘world class’.

The Gunners were languishing as low as 15th in the table until the likes of Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli sparked them into life.

Arsenal’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Newcastle on Monday was their fifth win from their last six Premier League games.

Arsenal’s youngsters have been key in their recent resurgence (Picture: Getty Images)

Saka, who has been one of Mikel Arteta’s side’s most consistent performers of late, grabbed his fourth league goal of the season after converting fellow academy graduate Smith Rowe’s cross.

Since bursting onto the scene last season, 19-year-old Saka has proved his ability to excel in multiple positions including left-back, central midfield and on both wings.

And Arsenal legend Lauren feels the teenager has the right mix of abilities to eventually be considered among the best in the world.

‘Saka has the potential to be a world-class player,’ Lauren told Genting Bet. ‘He is a player who understands the game which is so important.

‘How many times does he lose the ball during a game? Not many at all. He plays simple. He can play in a variety of different positions and do a great job in all of them.

‘I still think he hasn’t achieved his full potential. Sometimes for a young player to reach their potential then they need to be surrounded by top players who will make them better.

‘But Saka has all the qualities to be a top, top player.’

Lauren was also effusive in his praise of Smith Rowe, but urged the 20-year-old to keep up the high level of performances he has produced in recent weeks.

‘The young lads in the squad have impressed me most this season,’ he added. ‘It is great to see players from the academy making a difference – they know the club as they’ve been at the club since they were kids so it is great to see them rise up and play in the first team.

‘Saka has been excellent. I’ve been really impressed with Emile Smith Rowe.

‘Against Newcastle, he was so intelligent with the way that he was receiving the ball. Some youngsters want to receive the ball near the centre backs, others want to come to pick it up from their defensive midfielders and go into areas where they aren’t needed.

‘But he was clever to identify when to receive the ball, how to shape his body, sometimes play from the left, sometimes play from the right or from the middle – he knew where to find the space so he could damage the opponent with a final pass.

‘That shows the intelligence of the player. He needs to keep developing and not think he has finished developing. He needs to show those level of performances consistently.’


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