Bukayo Saka’s importance for Arsenal was highlighted again as he scored one goal and set up another in the Gunners’ 4-0 win over Everton.
Arsenal initially struggled to break down a Toffees side who beat them 1-0 less than a month ago, with the hosts failing to muster a shot on target in the opening 39 minutes of Wednesday’s match. But Saka’s emphatic finish before half-time changed everything.
“Once we scored the first goal, the game unlocked,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. “We needed a magic moment and Bukayo produced that.”
Gabriel Martinelli also shone against Everton, scoring the crucial second goal from Saka’s assist before then netting again at the end of the night.
“It’s a credit to them because in the end, they have to do it themselves, but we try to help them with our way of playing by trying to get them in those positions as much as possible,” said Mikel Arteta of the duo on arsenal.com.
“They are so willing to learn, they are asking for more and more every single day, and they never have enough information, they want more.
“They want the space, they want the practice and at the end when you have that and you have the talent that they have and the ideas that they have, at the end good things will happen.”
Saka and Martinelli have both now reached double figures in the Premier League, with the former scoring 10 goals and the latter hitting 11.
No other team have two players with 10 or more goals, and the pair’s achievement is even more impressive given they are only 21 years old.
To put it into context, no other player aged under 22 has scored more than five times this season.
Saka continues to make history after graduating from the Arsenal Academy, reaching notable landmarks in Wednesday’s victory.
He has become the first Arsenal player to score at least 10 times in multiple Premier League seasons before turning 22. He is just the eighth player to achieve that feat in the competition’s history, after Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Chris Sutton, Emile Heskey, Romelu Lukaku and Dele Alli.
Saka is also the sixth-youngest player to reach 50 Premier League goals and assists combined, having scored 27 times and set up a team-mate on 24 occasions.
|Michael Owen||19 years 68 days|
|Wayne Rooney||20 years 54 days|
|Robbie Fowler||20 years 167 days|
|Cesc Fabregas||20 years 337 days|
|Chris Sutton||21 years 170 days|
|Bukayo Saka||21 years 177 days|
After joining these esteemed ranks, Saka will have his sights set on breaking more records, starting at home to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, as he and Arsenal continue their pursuit of the club’s first league title since 2004.