Bukayo Saka: 2001's best
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It is no secret that the last few seasons have been disappointing at Arsenal, but one of the shining lights through this period has been the rise of Bukayo Saka. The 19-year-old is slowly cementing his place in the side and becoming one of Mikel Arteta's most valuable assets. 

The teenager has been named the best player to be born in 2001 by CIES Football Observatory. The rankings were decided by the capital experience approach which weights domestic league minutes played by footballers with the sporting level of their teams of employment on a global level. 

The breakthrough

Saka made three appearances during the 2018/19 season for the first team but it was the following season when fans started to remember his name. 

Freddie Ljungberg, who coached Saka with the under-23s, was called up to be assistant to Unai Emery. Ljungberg advised Emery to play him in the Europa League and it did not take long for the Englishman to show his quality. 

His performances in Europe led to him being played in the Premier League under both Emery and current manager Mikel Arteta. Saka scored his first league goal against Wolves after Project Restart and ended the season by lifting the FA Cup.

Versatility 

Saka made his 50th Premier League against Burnley on the weekend and one of the reasons for reaching this landmark at such a young age is due to his versatility.

He has played at full-back, wing-back, central midfield, and on both wings in the Gunners' attack. Due to his ability to play in these positions at a high level, he has become an integral part of the team and has brought positivity to the club during a poor period. 

The competition 

Saka was joined by two other Premier League stars in the top 10, Manchester United's Mason Greenwood (2nd), and Liverpool's Curtis Jones (9th). William Saliba, who is currently on loan at Nice, also ranked in at number 23.

Greenwood, like Saka, broke into his respective team after impressive performances in the Europa League. Both have been rumored to be outside choices for a spot in the England squad for the Euros. 

Saka has scored five goals and assisted twice this season in the league and many fans believe he has a good chance of winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award. 

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