Premier League • England

Liverpool ace ignored, as Arsenal man named Prem’s best amid claim he’d crack Invincibles team

Arsenal stars Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard

Arsenal stars Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard

Kolo Toure believes a current Arsenal ace is the best in his position in the Premier League despite the statistics pointing to a Liverpool superstar, and Toure also made a bold Invincibles claim.

Toure played for Arsenal between 2002-09 and later for Liverpool between 2013-16. The ex-centre-half knows a thing or two about top level football at Anfield and the Emirates.

When speaking in a recent interview with the Athletic, Toure declared current Arsenal ace, Bukayo Saka, to be the best winger the Premier League has to offer.

Saka earned a place in the Premier League team of the year in the 2022/23 campaign. The 22-year-old was a potent force when cutting in from the right flank, notching 14 goals and 11 assists in the EPL alone.

“One-on-one, he is the best winger in the Premier League,” declared Toure. “He can take on any player, even two players, no problem.

“There aren’t many players in the league who play like him. A lot of players look for passing or combination, but when you have a dribbler like Saka, you want him to go one-on-one. He can pass players and create an overload through his dribbling.”

While it cannot be argued Saka is among the Premier League’s elite wingers, the statistics point strongly to Mohamed Salah taking top spot.

Many will argue Saka is still developing and has his prime years ahead. That is true, though Toure is suggesting Saka is the best winger in England right here and now.

The lowest number of goals Salah has scored in a Premier League season for Liverpool is 19 (2019/20 and 2022/23 seasons). By contrast, Saka’s single season high is just 14.

In the current campaign, Saka has returned figures of five goals and seven assists. Salah, meanwhile, has scored 11 while also matching Saka’s tally of seven assists.

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Saka “absolutely” would make Invincibles side – Toure

Toure went on to claim Saka could “absolutely” have broken into Arsenal’s remarkable Invincibles team in the 2003/04 season.

The Gunners became the first Premier League side to go unbeaten across all 38 games. Other clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have since notched greater single-season points tallies, though all suffered defeats along the way.

“Could [Saka] have played for The Invincibles? Absolutely,” insisted Toure.

The formations and tactics of the 03/04 and 23/24 Arsenal sides are different and as such, it is difficult to directly compare Saka to Arsenal’s wingers of 20 years ago.

Indeed, Robert Pires – a left-footer – played on the left of a midfield four back then. Freddie Ljungberg – a right-footer – played on the right.

The modern game sees players like Saka and Salah play on the opposite flank to their strongest foot.

Nonetheless, Saka would certainly be able to play in a slightly deeper role like Pires and Ljungberg did if required given he initially broke into Arsenal’s first team as a left-back.

Dropping Pires who struck up a deadly combination with Thierry henry would be difficult to stomach. Unfortunately for Ljungberg, it’s the Swede who’d likely be the one to make way if Saka was born 20 years earlier.

READ MORE: Arsenal icon Ray Parlour names Liverpool hero as only Prem star worthy of Invincibles spot