Bukayo Saka

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Personal information

Full Name Bukayo Ayoyinka T. M. Saka
Born 5 September 2001 
Ealing ,England
Position(S) Winger, left-back, midfielder

Club information

Current team Arsenal 
Number 7

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021, in London, England.

Bukayo Ayoyinka T. M. Saka is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger, left-back or midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the England national team.

Saka was born in Ealing, Greater London to Nigerian parents, and attended Edward Betham Church of England Primary School before Greenford High School, where he gained high grades in his GCSEs, achieving four A*s and three As. Prior to joining Arsenal, Saka played youth football for local club Greenford Celtic. His parents emigrated to London from Nigeria as economic migrants. In an interview, Saka stated the importance of his father in his footballing career: “He’s a massive inspiration for me. From when I was young, he always kept me grounded, kept me humble.”

His name “Bukayo” originates from the Yoruba language spoken in southern Nigeria, meaning “adds to happiness”.


Personal Life

Asked what he would be if not a footballer, Saka said he would be a basketball player or an actor. His favorite actor growing up was Will Smith and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is his favorite show. His favorite footballer of all-time is Thierry Henry and he cites Alexis Sanchez as an influence, saying he even tried to copy Sanchez’s boots when he was an academy player. Among past teammates, Saka said David Luiz helped him the most in his career, saying “he [Luiz] went out of his way” to help a lot of Arsenal youngsters “on and off the pitch.”


Club Career

Having previously played for youth teams of Watford, Saka joined Arsenal’s Hale End academy at the age of seven. Once he turned 17 years old, Saka was given a professional contract by Arsenal and promoted to the under-23 side. On 29 November 2018, Saka made his senior competitive debut for Arsenal in their Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava.

On 1 January 2019, Saka made his debut in the Premier League in a 4–1 win against Fulham after coming on for Alex Iwobi in the 83rd minute. He became the first player born in the 21st century to play in a Premier League match.

  • 2019–20: Breakthrough and FA Cup win

On 1 July 2020, Saka signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal.

Head coach Mikel Arteta:

 

“I think he represents every value that this football club stands for. He has come through the academy, and earned his respect with hard work and accountability and you can see the progression that he is having as a player but as well as a person.”

 

He scored his first Premier League goal for the club against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a half volley beating goalkeeper Rui Patrício, in a 2–0 win. He was an unused substitute as Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2–1 to win their 14th FA Cup. He came third in the vote for the Arsenal Player of the Season award in the 2019–20 season.

  • 2020–21: Arsenal Player of The Season

On 6 March 2021, Saka made his 50th Premier League appearance for Arsenal in a 1–1 draw against Burnley; he is the second youngest player in club history to reach that milestone. On 15 April, Saka scored a goal and helped Arsenal to a 4–0 victory over Slavia Prague in the quarter final of the Europa League. After his fine performance, he was named as the Europa League Player of the Week. He finished the season with seven goals and seven assists in 46 appearances across all competitions, as he was voted Arsenal Player of the Season, having come in third the previous campaign. He also was named in the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Season.


International Career

Saka represented England at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 level.

In September 2018, Saka scored the winner for the England under-18 team in an away game against France. In November 2018, Saka received his first call-up to the England under-19 team. He scored on his debut at that age level in a qualifier against Moldova.

On 4 September 2020, Saka made his debut for England U21s during a 6–0 victory away to Kosovo. 1 October, Saka was called up to the England senior squad for the first time, and made his international debut as one of the starters in a 3–0 victory over Wales.

On 1 June 2021, he was named in the 26-man squad for UEFA Euro 2020. On 2 June, in a friendly against Austria, Saka scored his first senior international goal, the only goal in a 1–0 win. He started in England’s third Euro 2020 group stage match on 22 June against the Czech Republic, and was named the man of the match.

On 11 July, in the tournament final against Italy, Saka was brought on as a substitute for Kieran Trippier. Following full time and extra time, Saka was chosen to take the team’s fifth penalty during the subsequent shoot-out, his first penalty kick at senior level. Saka’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and, as a result, Italy won the shoot-out and the tournament. Saka faced racist abuse online after missing the penalty.


Honours

Arsenal

  • FA Cup: 2019–20
  • FA Community Shield: 2020
  • UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2018–19

England

Individual

  • Arsenal Player of the Season: 2020–21
  • IFFHS Men’s Youth (U20) World Team: 2021

 

When did Bukayo Saka face racist abuse?

On 11 July, in the tournament final against Italy, Saka was brought on as a substitute for Kieran Trippier. Following full time and extra time, Saka was chosen to take the team’s fifth penalty during the subsequent shoot-out, his first penalty kick at senior level. Saka’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and, as a result, Italy won the shoot-out and the tournament. Saka faced racist abuse online after missing the penalty.

Does Bukayo Saka have girlfriend?

Yes. Bukayo Saka has a girlfriend, her name is Tolami Benson.

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