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‘Saka is every bit as good as Messi’ – Arsenal winger likened to PSG’s World Cup-winning superstar by Gunners great Adams

15:54 GMT+3 05/01/2023
Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23
Bukayo Saka is “every bit as good as Lionel Messi”, claims Arsenal legend Tony Adams, with the England international starring in the 2022-23 campaign.
  • Forward impressing for club and country
  • Aided march to top of Premier League table
  • Yet to sign a contract extension

WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old’s ability and versatility have never been in question, while his character has also passed several tests following a penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final and failure to qualify for the Champions League at club level. Saka is yet to commit to a new contract at Emirates Stadium, but he has helped the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table while registering seven goals and six assists across all competitions this season and is considered to be matching the exploits of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi – who is now a World Cup winner with Argentina.

WHAT THEY SAID: Former Arsenal captain Adams has told the Seaman Says podcast: “I think player of the season is Saka. The kid is just phenomenal. I had a bit of a go at Gareth [Southgate] during the World Cup for taking him off. He’s every bit as good as Messi, Messi is obviously at the end of his career. Even when you question him and he missed his penalty at the Euros and he’s come back. Every time I see him he makes goals and scores goals. He’s a phenomenal footballer, the best player for England and the best player for the Arsenal.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saka registered three goals for England during their run to the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup, with his stock continuing to soar as he catches the eye for club and country.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Arsenal are understandably determined to keep a home-grown star in north London, having previously seen Saka linked with the likes of Manchester City, and know that major silverware in 2022-23 could aid that cause as they chase down Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup honours.