Bukayo Saka only started playing for Arsenal Football Club's first team in 2019. But just a little over two years since then, he has worked himself to a position of indispensability as he continues to earn rave reviews following stellar renditions for the team on a consistent basis.
These days, the North Londoners are almost certain to win matches when Saka is in the team more often than when he is not.
On several occasions in the current season has his work rate, energy, competitiveness and vision helped the Gunners out of seemingly tight situations as he either scores or helps his teammates to score.
His versatility has also immensely benefitted the club as he has had to be deployed into other roles on the field as a cover for colleagues who are either injured, indisposed or serving suspensions.
Almost a year later, the Spanish coach has had no cause to regret his decision as Saka keeps repaying the manager's faith in him with consistent, head-turning performances.
And, on the strength of how quickly his game has evolved, he hasn't only already been capped by England at full international level, he is firmly on Gareth Southgate's radar to make the Three Lions squad to this summer's European Championships.
Boss Mikel Arteta was as blunt as he was profuse when asked about what he thought about Bukayo Saka's role in the 4-0 demolition of Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday night.
"Intelligence", he had told Skysports.
"We talk about physicality, we talk about spirit, we talk about technique. But the brain is the one that makes all the decisions.
"B"(Bukayo) makes a lot of good decisions because he is such an intelligent player who can read situations. After that, of course, he has the ability to execute them the right way and that's obviously a big quality.
"It took me a while to figure him out. That's why I tried to play him in different positions, to see how he reacted.
"I wanted to test his character as well because he was playing as a left back and I know it wasn't his ideal position but he had to go through that period.
"We've seen how he can affect the game more and be a real threat. He has a quality to decide a football match," he added.
But two persons who knew his quality from the very beginning were Mark Harvey, Saka's former Physical Education teacher and Dipesh Patel, football coach at Greenwood High School, Erling.
In a recent interview with BBC Sport, both tutors summarised their impressions of the player they feel proud to now see as an England international.
Saka, spent almost all his secondary school years juxtaposing academics and playing football at the Arsenal Academy since he joined at the age of 7.
And even though he had to also carry the extra burden of playing for almost all of England's youth teams from U-16 to U-21, he had still distinguished himself as a high intelligent quotient student, amassing a stupendous 7As in his General Certificate of Secondary Education ( GCSE ) before leaving in 2018.
So, it is not hard to see why Bukayo Saka has risen so quickly in his career. His ability to apply his innate intelligence to his movement and creativity on the pitch now obviously sets him apart from others less academically endowed.
Saka has so far scored 7 goals for the Gunners in all competitions this season, while wearing the number 7 jersey!
Content created and supplied by: HenryOkoduwa2012 (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More