Premier League • England

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka names most impressive opponent who ’embarrassed’ him

Bukayo Saka Arsenal April 2022

Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka has named one Barcelona star who “embarrassed” him, as the most impressive opponent of his career to date.

Saka, 20, is making a name for himself at Arsenal and he made the England squad for Euro 2020. He made four appearances at the finals and was a 70th-minute sub in final against Italy, which England lost on penalties.

He only made his senior debut for Arsenal in 2018, but he has already made over 100 appearances for the club. And this season he had collected an impressive nine goals and five assists from 30 Premier League appearances.

Saka has already faced some of the world’s leading players. But he says the one player that stands out is Barca veteran Sergio Busquets.

Saka lined up against Busquets in a pre-season friendly in August 2019, which Barca won 2-1 at the Camp Nou.

And when asked by GQ to name the opponent he’s been most impressed by Saka replied: “Sergio Busquets.

“The way he just so elegantly turned me! I came at him to press him. I tried to fake this side then go to the other, and the way he just embarrassed me: I was just like, yeah, this guy is elite.

Saka idolises Messi

“The way he just took me out of the play, I said, ‘Respect.’ [Busquets] is three steps ahead of everyone and that’s what makes you a top footballer. That’s what I realised that day.”

Saka, who has settled into a left wing role this season, was named Arsenal Player of the season last term. He played in a variety of roles but he has been used as a wide player by Mikel Arteta this season, a position his idol Lionel Messi often operates in.

And the Argentine’s famous goal against Athletic Bilbao is one he’d most like to score himself.

Saka set to be rewarded with big new Arsenal contract

Bukayo Saka is set to get his current wage quadrupled this summer as Arsenal are set to offer him £120,000 a week.


“Because of the moment,” said Saka. “I think I would say Leo Messi’s goal in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club. The one where he dribbled everyone. Now that I play, I can see how hard it is to score that goal.

“People are trying to kick him, to bring him down in the process. And he just keeps going, and he still scored in the final, as well.

“I was just like, wow. When he says he’s going past you, you’re not stopping him!”

READ MORE: Aston Villa willing to sanction Arsenal sale as Gerrard picks out two superior upgrades