Arsenal starlet, Bukayo Saka is the winner of the 2021 London Young Player of the Year award, the first major individual award of his football career.
The 19-year-old English right-back was declared the winner of the award on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, ahead of Chelsea’s Mason Mount, West Ham’s Declan Rice, and Arsenal’s Smith Rowe.
Recall that in most parts of the 2020-2021 season, Bukayo Saka has been one of the biggest revelations at Arsenal. He has played his way into the heart of the club’s coach Mikel Arteta and the club’s fans due to his consistent display of brilliant football at such a tender age.
Due to his brilliance on the ball, Bukayo Saka who was promoted to Arsenal’s senior team in 2019, has played 28 Premier League games for Arsenal this season in which he scored 5 goals and provided 3 assists.
Besides his performance in the Premier League, he has also been almost indispensable in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign this season. So far in the campaign, the Nigerian-born English football star has made 7 Europa League appearances in which he scored 2 goals and provided 4 assists.
Due to his impact at Arsenal, Bukayo Saka has won a couple of player of the month awards at the club; and a couple of man of the match awards.
🏆 Player of the Month— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 8, 2021
🥇 Goal of the Month@BukayoSaka87 🤝 December pic.twitter.com/WpRUNfQTCF
His form at Arsenal this season has earned the 19-year-old versatile footballer a call-up to England national football team. He made his debut for the Three Lions on October 8, 2020. Ever since then, he has made a total number of 4 appearances.
Based on his performance so far this season, he was nominated and voted the winner of the 2021 London Young Player of the Year, an award which signified that he has had the best season than any other youngster playing in a club in London.
Thanks for the support this season. I’m grateful and thankful to the London awards for awarding me Young Player of the year 🔥🏆 @thelfaofficial #LFA21 #GodsWork🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/DTvv8RSCs6— Bukayo Saka (@BukayoSaka87) April 27, 2021
In his statement after winning the award, Saka said he prefers winning trophies for his team to winning individual awards. He also added that winning the London Young Player of the year award didn’t get to him as much as a team trophy would.
“I think if you ask most players they will say [they want] team trophies rather than individual trophies,” he said.
“I think I would rather win the World Cup than win player of the tournament of the World Cup, or with the Champions League and stuff like this. I would definitely say that I aspire to win a lot of team trophies in my career.
“It (winning London Young Player of the Year ) hasn’t sunk in. I think it is good that it hasn’t sunk in as I don’t want any of this to go to my head.
“We (Arsenal) have still got a big opportunity to win some big silverware this season, so I am focused on that right now.
“It is really nice to have this award because you work hard all season and you give your all for the team, coach, club, and fans.
“Then to be voted as the Young Player of the Year at the London Football Awards, it shows people are recognizing the hard work you are putting in.
“That’s why when I get awards like this I always take a picture with it, I am always happy, I frame them all and put them up in my front room so I can look at them. It makes me smile every time I see stuff like this.”