herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

Saka: Young Guns ready to take on world

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka

Teenager Bukayo Saka says he's ready ''to take on the world'' after impressing in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Fiorentina on Saturday.

The Gunners made it three wins from three on their tour of the United States, including two in the International Champions Cup, with victory in humid conditions in Charlotte, where youngsters again came to the fore.

With Arsenal still to make a major signing in the summer transfer window, Emirates coach Unai Emery has instead utilised some of the young talent at his disposal in the USA.

He has been rewarded as all eight of Arsenal's pre- season goals have been scored by youngsters.

One of those is Saka (17) who again shone in a wide role against Fiorentina and now believes that he and his fellow proteges have what it takes to go far.

"The players coming up from the academy are so special," Saka said. "The next generation of us can be in this Arsenal team and take on the world.

"The boss is doing a good job of managing all of us, helping us to progress every day and to learn.

"I just have to keep pushing. Showing the boss what I can do and when the time comes I am ready to play. When I get the chance then I can take it."

Saka also hailed the influence of new Arsenal assistant coach Freddie Ljungberg, who has been promoted from the Under-23s role to work alongside Emery, bringing a wide knowledge of his former charges.

"From the Under-15s I worked with him," Saka added. "It has been a long journey but I feel like we both deserve it.

"Freddie helps Unai know who we are, tells him our strengths and weaknesses and comes to us individually and tells us what we need to do from Unai.

"Unai does not have to speak to us directly, Freddie comes to us and tells us what we need to do. It makes the transition from the academy to the first team much smoother."

Eddie Nketiah (20) continued his fine pre-season form with two goals in the win over Fiorentina.

Arsenal fielded a young side with Nketiah, who scored the winner against Bayern Munich in Arsenal's last match, leading the line and he wasted no time in finding the net again when he opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

Fiorentina pushed for an equaliser as Arsenal rang the changes in the second half, and two substitutes - Henrik Mkhitaryan and Alexandre Lacazette - combined to create an unmissable chance for Nketiah to make it two in the 65th minute.

Defensive errors were once again a common occurrence in the Arsenal backline, but Fiorentina failed to take advantage, and Joe Willock ensured the Premier League side's second win from two games with a late third goal.

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