Arsenal star Bukayo Saka imitates Thierry Henry and Ian Wright in retaining player of the season award

The Gunners confirmed on Wednesday that Saka had claimed 58 per cent of the total votes provided by fans to win the award for the second consecutive year, a feat only previously achieved by all-time top scorer Henry, who did so for last seen in 2004 during the ‘Invincibles’ era, along with fellow club icons Wright and Liam Brady.

The England winger has made a total of 43 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal during a turbulent 2021/22 campaign, scoring 12 goals and registering seven assists.

Mikel Arteta’s side recovered from a dreadful start to the season to take on Tottenham for fourth in the Premier League and end their five-year Champions League exile, ultimately missing out on their northern rivals. London on the final day despite a 5-1 thrashing from Everton.

Arsenal, without European football at all for the first time since 1996 this season, also reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Liverpool, and the FA Cup third round, where they been bowled over by the championship game. -off winners Nottingham Forest.

Saka also won Player of the Season honors last year with 51% of the fan vote after scoring seven goals and providing 10 assists in 46 appearances. The previous campaign had been the breakthrough for the academy graduate at the Emirates.

Saka has also been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons, missing out in 2021 to Manchester City’s Phil Foden. This year he faces Foden again, along with Conor Gallagher, Reece James, Jacob Ramsey and his Arsenal team-mate Emile Smith Rowe.

The 20-year-old is entering the final two years of his contract in north London, although standard sports understands Arsenal remain hopeful of linking him to a long-term extension amid admiring looks from Liverpool and Manchester City.

Bukayo Saka is the first Arsenal player to retain the Player of the Season award since Thierry Henry in 2004

/ Arsenal F.C. via Getty Images

Arsenal have had initial talks with Saka and are planning more for their Nations League return with England, who will face Italy and Hungary at Wolves’ Molineux next in their four-game block after the 1-1 draw last night with Germany in Munich and a first clash lost 1-0 in Budapest this weekend.

Saka, who has won 15 senior caps for England so far, started and played 80 minutes against Germany after being introduced as a half-time substitute in Hungary on Saturday night.


standard Sport

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