Thierry Henry reveals one big change Bukayo Saka must make to become world-class for Arsenal
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has told winger Bukayo Saka he must make one change if he is to become one of the best players in the world, while also heaping praise on the Englishman.
Saka is enjoying another top season with Arsenal. So far this term he has registered eight goals and eight assists in 29 matches across all competitions.
Those goal contributions have helped Mikel Arteta’s side to go top of the Premier League table. They could stretch their lead back up to six points if they beat Manchester City at the Emirates on Wednesday evening.
Saka has also helped Arsenal qualify from their Europa League group in first place, which means they will avoid a potentially tough knockout round play-off. They have been knocked out of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, but that will not matter if they triumph in the Prem.
Saka is one of the first names on the team sheet for Arteta due to his exceptional pace, dribbling ability and vision. He can cut inside and score goals himself or set up team-mates. Despite being only 21 years of age, he is already one of the best wingers in England.
During an appearance on Amazon Prime Video Sport, former Gunners striker Henry has discussed Saka and his development.
The Frenchman has lauded Saka for coming back from the Euros disappointment with England and getting even better. This is even more impressive when you consider the shocking racist abuse Saka received from so-called England ‘fans’.
“There’s so many players I’m looking forward to seeing in the game [vs City],” Henry said. “But I’m going to have to mention Bukayo Saka.
Bukayo Saka ‘hasn’t looked back’ since Euros heartbreak
“Why? Because the way he came back from the Euros, missing that penalty, he’s never looked back since.
“And I just think that I want the team to win and all of that, but I want him to play well in that game [against Man City], play well until the end of the season and to be the player that can decide games.”
Henry, who scored 228 goals in 376 matches for Arsenal, then explained how the wide man can reach the next level and emerge into a world-class player.
“And I said it the other day, I was on Amazon doing the game against West Ham, I said ‘big players are not nice’,” the pundit added.
“If you want to be big, if you want to be the guy, big players are not nice.”
Saka will be delighted to hear one of Arsenal’s best ever players praise him so highly. He will also want to take on board what Henry has said so he can potentially get near the Frenchman in terms of Gunners greatness.
Presumably, Henry means that Saka must be ruthless to his opponents. That means not giving them a second on the ball or a second’s respite, even if Arsenal are already several goals ahead.
It also means Saka needs to become more selfish at times. His assists are part of what makes him so great, but he can become more of a deadly goalscoring winger like Mo Salah if he takes more chances for himself.
Meanwhile, legendary former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has discussed the club’s title charge under Arteta.