Bukayo Saka has moved to credit Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg for his match-winning performance versus Eintracht Frankfurt.
Eintracht 0-3 Arsenal
Unai Emery’s men travelled to Germany yesterday evening, for their Europa League opener.
Arsenal headed into proceedings hoping for a bounce-back performance, with the capital giants’ positive early-season form having deserted them of late.
The north Londoners were without a win in any of their last 3 domestic outings, the latest of which saw Arsenal throw away a 2-goal lead to eventually escape with a 2-2 draw at Watford last weekend.
When all was said and done at the Commerzbank-Arena, though, the Gunners managed to bounce back, and in some style.
A thrilling, opportunity-packed clash eventually saw Arsenal emerge with an impressive 3-0 win.
Joe Willock opened the scoring shortly before the interval, when the midfielder’s deflected strike looped up and over the helpless Kevin Trapp.
Another of the visitors’ gifted young contingent, in the form of Bukayo Saka, then doubled their advantage 5 minutes from time, with a superb bending strike:
Bukayo Saka strikes! 🔴
He becomes the youngest Arsenal player to score in the Europa League with a great finish to cap a fantastic display! pic.twitter.com/FgUIUjYA1A
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 19, 2019
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded out a memorable evening’s work for Arsenal with the north Londoners’ 3rd three minutes later.
‘Not much more I can ask for’
While the likes of Joe Willock, Shkodran Mustafi and Emiliano Martinez all impressed for the Gunners last night, though, none of Unai Emery’s squad have since been more widely-lavished in praise than Bukayo Saka.
18-year-old attacker Saka had a hand in all 3 of his side’s goals in Franfurt, setting up Willock’s opener and Aubameyang’s clincher, either side of finding the net with a superb strike of his own.
As such, the Arsenal youth product was subsequently questioned on his burst onto world football’s stage, following the full-time whistle at the Commerzbank-Arena.
And Saka was quick to single out a club legend, and long-time coach of his, in the form of Freddie Ljungberg, as key to both his development, and progression into Unai Emery’s first-team setup:
‘Freddie’s information is vital for me because I play in the same position as him. He’s been a big part in my progress.’
‘I feel like he’s been a player before so he understands how I would feel. He’s played in my position and it’s just so good to have him there, an Arsenal legend giving me advice. There’s not much more I can ask for.’
Bukayo Saka vs Eintracht
72% pass accuracy
5 key passes
3 dribbles won
1 tackle won
18 years of age. Pure quality. Would love to see him more often this season. 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/XzcmNH9oYv
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) September 19, 2019
‘He gives a lot of advice to me every day but the best piece of advice he’s given me is to stay humble.’
‘He’s been with me since I was 15, seen me do amazing things but he always tells me to stay humble and to keep working hard because he really thinks I can be a top player.’
‘It helps so much [having Ljungberg around]. When the coach is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie sometimes, he speaks better English.’