Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka Wins Young Player Of The Year.. The English winger, 19, saw off strong competition from Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Emile Smith Rowe, and Reece James to win the award at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday night, April 27.
Accepting his award, the four-cap Three Lions international said: “I’m really happy to win this award.
“I promise to keep giving my all on the pitch to make you happy and keep you entertained.”
Saka, who has become a talisman under coach Mikel Arteta is being tipped for a place in the England squad at Euro 2020 in the summer following a brilliant season for club and country.
Nominees for the award were selected by an expert judging panel from the worlds of football and media.
Also, from former players to major footballing bodies and sports media, including The Evening Standard, Sky Sports, BBC, The Daily Telegraph, and talkSPORT.
Saka was born in Ealing, Greater London to Nigerian parents, and attended Edward Betham CofE Primary School where he excelled in his football skills before Greenford High School.
Saka is of Nigerian descent, both of his parents immigrated to London for work from Nigeria. In one of his interviews, Saka stated the importance of his father in his footballing career, “He’s a massive inspiration for me. From when I was young, he always kept me grounded, kept me humble.”
His name “Bukayo” originates from the Yoruba tribe located in southern Nigeria, meaning “Adds to happiness”
Saka scored his first senior goal on 19 September, curling a fine effort from long range into the corner away to German side Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League. He finished the match with two assists also to his name in a 3–0 win.
Saka was rewarded for his efforts in Germany with his first Premier League start, in a 3–2 home win over Aston Villa.
He then registered an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, setting up the Gunners equaliser in a 1–1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Following injuries to Sead Kolašinac and Kieran Tierney, Saka began to establish himself as a regular in the Arsenal first team at left-back.
On 27 January 2020, he scored the opening goal in Arsenal’s 2–1 FA Cup fourth round victory at Bournemouth after finishing a 22-pass move, as well as assisting the second goal, scored by Eddie Nketiah.
He then set up Alexandre Lacazette for his ninth assist of the season in a 1–0 win at Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League.
He then hit double figures for assists that season after crossing in for Nketiah in a thrilling 3–2 home win against Everton. Further performances against Portsmouth and West Ham United further strengthened his grip in the first team.
On 1 July 2020, Saka signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal. Head coach Mikel Arteta praised Saka and said: “I think he represents every value that this football club stands for.
He has come through the academy, and earned his respect with hard work and accountability and you can see the progression that he is having as a player but as well as a person.”
He scored his first Premier League goal for the club against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a half volley beating goalkeeper Rui Patrício, in a 2–0 win.
Saka was an unused substitute as Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2–1 to win their 14th FA Cup. Saka was the second runner-up of the Arsenal Player of the Season award in the 2019/20 season, commanding 10 per cent vote.