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After injury concerns were raised, Mikel Arteta remarked that Arsenal had their own “Lionel Messi.”.

After injury concerns were raised, Mikel Arteta remarked that Arsenal had their own “Lionel Messi.”.

With two goals and two assists so far this season, Bukayo Saka has carried over his strong play for Arsenal and England into the 2023–24 season.

Joe Cole, a former player for Chelsea, has compared Bukayo Saka, an Arsenal star, to players like Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

The international player for England has elevated his performances this year, earning him a spot on the Ballon d’Or shortlist.

Despite losing the trophy to Manchester City, Saka had a fantastic World Cup campaign for England in Qatar and played a significant role in helping Arsenal challenge for the Premier League crown last season.

The star, who is only 22 years old, has played nearly 14,000 minutes for the first team in all competitions since making his debut.

That’s not even taking into account Saka’s nearly 2,000 minutes of action for the England national team.

Given Saka’s extensive playing history at such a young age, legendary Arsenal player Ian Wright has expressed concern about the injury risks to Saka.

He said, “This is why everyone is so worried when he is kicked all over the place,” in a Handbrake Off podcast interview.

Only that will prevent him from continuing. Every time he is kicked and you see him play in a game, you wonder if he could have rested instead of playing.

“There are times when you worry because he will be a major factor in whether Arsenal succeeds or fails in reaching our goals.

As long as he is well-managed, I think we’ll succeed.”.

Everyone can see Saka’s significance to Arsenal, and he is now starting to emerge as one of Gareth Southgate’s few England players who cannot be dropped. In fact, Joe Cole thinks the Arsenal star can cut in off the right wing just like Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

After England and Ukraine drew 1-1 in their 2024 European Championship qualifying match, Cole told Channel 4: “He’s [Saka] got an ability to cut in, just like Lionel Messi, which very few players have.

It is owned by Bukayo Saka, Lionel Messi, and Mohamed Salah.”.

The Arsenal star may not yet be at Messi’s level, but his potential is frightening, and he may end up being one of the greatest wingers in history.

After contributing more than 10 goals and assists in the 2022–23 season across all competitions, Saka has already recorded two goals and two assists in five appearances this term.

For his impact as a right-winger, the 22-year-old could be compared to Messi and Salah as long as he avoids injuries and keeps raising his performance level year after year.

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