Soccer

‘Saka has the potential to be a world-class player’ – Lauren lauds Arsenal youngster | Goal.com

The former Gunners defender is a big fan of the left-sided England international and considers Gabriel Martinelli to be “one of the best talents”

Bukao Saka “has the potential to be a world-class player” says Lauren, with the former Arsenal defender also hailing Gabriel Martinelli as “one of the best talents in the Premier League”.

The Gunners have shown considerable faith in youth this season, with Mikel Arteta forced into changes after overseeing the club’s worst start to a campaign since 1974-75.

Seasoned veterans such as Mesut Ozil and Sokratis have been forced out, allowing academy graduates and youngsters to prove their worth.

Emile Smith Rowe is the latest to make the most of his big break, with the 20-year-old playmaker shining on the Premier League stage.

Saka is another to have shown that he can cut it among the elite, with the talented teenager already up to 65 senior appearances while collecting four full England caps.

The 19-year-old has also committed to a new contract at Emirates Stadium, with Lauren expecting big things from the versatile left-sided player.

He told Gentingbet: “Saka has the potential to be a world-class player. He is a player who understands the game which is so important.

“How many times does he lose the ball during a game? Not many at all. He plays simple. He can play in a variety of different positions and do a great job in all of them.

“I still think he hasn’t achieved his full potential. Sometimes for a young player to reach their potential then they need to be surrounded by top players who will make them better. But Saka has all the qualities to be a top, top player.”

Another of those that Lauren has high hopes for is Brazilian forward Martinelli, with the South American shaking off a run of unfortunate injuries to force his way back into contention for regular game time under Arteta.

“Martinelli is one of the best talents in the Premier League,” added Lauren, who formed part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ squad in 2003-4. “He was unlucky to get injured last season as he was showing excellent promise. He is quick, he can attack the spaces in the last third.

“He can play in the number nine or wide positions. He is quick in transitions and has lots of pace, as you can see from his goal against Chelsea last year. Hopefully, he can come back strong from his injury and pick back up where he left off.

“Arsenal need all their players fit – the season is very long. And Martinelli is so useful to have in Arsenal’s attack as he can play in all of the positions across the front three.”

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