Ian Wright has claimed that Bukayo Saka needs a spell out of the Arsenal first team after what has been a crazy run in the starting XI this season.
The youngster has played the third-most minutes in the Premier League, scoring five goals and assisting a further two in the process.
Speaking on the Wrighty’s House podcast, the Highbury favourite voiced his sadness over the burden placed on the Hale End academy product’s shoulders.
Wright said: “I was pleased to see Saka getting a rest, I was pleased to see that we can win a game without needing to put the burden of it on this poor guy, this 19-year-old. I believe he needs rest. He’s taken us through a period and then Emile Smith Rowe came in and joined him, and now Odegaard. People seem to be finding their form.”
Is Saka Arsenal's POTY?
It’s quite staggering how much the 19-year-old has carried the weight of expectation of a club so big throughout this season. His performances have been second to none and put some of the more experienced players to shame in a mediocre campaign for the Gunners.
With the talent on offer at the Emirates Stadium, you’d have hoped that Saka wouldn’t be anywhere near the top three for the player of the year awards. However, the fact remains, he’s probably a shoo-in to claim the gong such has been the shocking nature of this year.
13 goals and assists across just 31 games at his tender age are quietly sensational figures for a young star, who only made his breakthrough into senior football last season.
Whilst his stats look great, it’s his ability to single-handedly carry the team through games which are quite brilliant. If not for the youngster’s stunning pair of assists in the Europa League second-leg against Benfica, Arsenal would’ve been starring down the barrel of a second consecutive last-32 exit.
Saka’s rest coupled with the resurgence of Willian and Nicolas Pepe means the England international can be rested. It’s been a long time coming, however, a much-deserved one for what is the club’s player of the season.