The rise of Bukayo Saka was one of the big bonuses of Arsenal’s hit and miss 2019/20 season.
At just 18 years old, he has already proven himself in the top flight on a consistent basis, forging effective on-field partnerships with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah.
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal head coach, has given game time to several of the club’s younger players since he arrived at the club in December.
And with the Gunners lacking the financial firepower of several of their top-six rivals, the importance of the likes of Saka looks set to become an increasingly common theme at the Emirates.
So how does Saka rank against the other Premier League “wonderkids” of his generation? We have taken a look…
Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea)
The 19-year-old is highly rated across Europe, as well as at Chelsea, but injuries have so far limited first team opportunities for Hudson-Odoi.
Since signing a lucrative long-term contract with the Blues that runs until 2024, the winger has perhaps shouldered an increased and unfair level of expectation for such a young player.
Injuries to Achilles tendons and hamstrings in the past two years should be a cause for the concern given that Hudson-Odoi is still a teenager.
Given that they are both creative players, assists can be a way of measuring how Saka and Hudson-Odoi rank against each other this season. The Chelsea man has registered two fewer assists this season than Saka’s five, yet his limited game time makes him slightly higher performing with 0.31 assists per 90 minutes.
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For Saka, ranking at a similar rate to Hudson-Odoi in terms of assist output could be a sign that he is ready to convert into a permanent attacking option for the Gunners.
Saka might be a year younger, but his greater experience in a range of positions arguably puts him ahead of Hudson-Odoi and in the running for a…