Joe Cole hails Bukayo Saka after Bodo/Glimt winner, and insists Gunners have ‘GOT to tie him down’
‘Arsenal has such a gem…he gets his training from Arteta and fantastic players’: Bukayo Saka praised by Joe Cole after his win against Bodo/Glimt, as the pundit insists Gunners should ‘tie him’ to a new deal
- Joe Cole believes Arsenal have a ‘gem’ in the form of striker Bukayo Saka
- The 21-year-old played for his side and scored the only goal to Bodo/Glimt . defeat
- Both Cole and Martin Keown insisted Arsenal build the club around him
Joe Cole believes Bukayo Saka is ‘a gem’ after his starring role in Arsenal’s reluctant 1-0 win over Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League.
The 21-year-old bizarrely scored the only goal of the game in the 24th minute when the ball bounced after a deflection to enter the English forward’s chest.
Saka finished last season as the Gunners’ top scorer and now has four goals and four assists in 12 games in 2022-23.
Bukayo Saka was Arsenal’s best offensive outlet in their 1-0 win over Bodo/Glimt
Former West Ham and Chelsea midfielder Cole told BT Sport: “You have to understand how young he is, where he is in his career. Arsenal have such a gem here.
“He’s already so experienced. He is one of the leaders of the team on the field. He takes responsibility.
“He’s a fantastic player and he’s someone who has to bind Arsenal and build this new regime on this new great side that seems to be emerging (around him).
Former West Ham and Chelsea man Joe Cole described the England forward as ‘a gem’
“The great thing about him is you can use him there to the left of a front three, you can use him as a No 10, a left back, on the right wing, but he’s just a fantastic footballer and he gets his training through Arteta and fantastic players.
“Young players around him all have his energy and they kept it up tonight. It’s important momentum at this stage of the season.”
Saka joined the North London outfit as a youth player and has become arguably the most important player at the Emirates Stadium after making his debut in November 2018.
Cole also thinks Arsenal should build their team around the 21-year-old
While Arsenal have struggled overall since his breakthrough under Unai Emery, Saka has become one of the best attacking midfielders in the country, winning consecutive Player of the Season awards for Arsenal.
And despite his current contract not expiring until the end of 2024, after signing an extension in 2020, many are clamoring for the club to tie him down for a longer period of time.
Arsenal icon Martin Keown added: “He’s top drawer, he’s made it through the academy, he’s had his foot on every rung of the ladder at that club. He now points the way for the next generation.
“Tonight he made the difference with the class he has. As a left-footed right winger it’s really hard when he comes to the side, it’s just that change of pace.
But that’s really exciting now, really, when you see (Mohamed) Salah do that for Liverpool, and he’s in that mold now, it’s starting to come off the line a little bit more and become more central.
“And he and Martinelli are really going through the gears in Arsenal jerseys now.”