Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka has assured that he is not ‘carrying Arsenal’, amid a difficult campaign for the club to date.
Mikel Arteta’s first full season in charge at the Emirates has of course proven far from smooth sailing.
After clinching both the FA Cup and Community Shield last time out, before following up with the summer additions of Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey, the capital giants were widely expected to kick on towards a return to the Premier League’s top-4 picture.
The months since, however, have seen quite the opposite unfold.
After surrendering their FA Cup crown, the north Londoners have since slipped to the disappointing depths of mid-table in the English top-flight, behind the likes of West Ham, Everton and Leeds.
‘A team sport’
Such woes, of course, have come amid sub-par performances on the part of a host of Arsenal’s stars.
The likes of Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have largely disappointed to this point in the campaign, as some of the most high-profile members of Arteta’s squad continue to let the Spaniard down when it matters most.
On the flip-side, however, has been the continued emergence of burgeoning young talent in north London.
Emile Smith Rowe, for example, has exploded onto the first-team scene since finally being handed a consistent chance to impress late last year.
None, though, has proven more impressive than Bukayo Saka.
The 19-year-old has proven, by some distance, the Gunners’ most consistent performer in 2020/21, with his haul of 7 goals and 8 assists across all competitions doing Saka’s true impact little justice.
In fact, so standout has the English international looked at times, that some have gone as far as to suggest that Saka is ‘carrying’ Arsenal on the pitch.
As outlined above, however, the versatile wide-man himself has today moved to put to bed such claims.
Speaking in an interview with Standard Sport, Saka was drawn on his ever-increasing role at the Emirates, to which he responded:
‘I don’t feel pressure from external voices. I’ve always wanted to have the courage to play, to be the one that’s visible when everyone’s heads are down.’
‘I don’t think that I’m the player that’s carrying Arsenal. In football, it is 11 men. I don’t think that I can do anything just by myself. It’s a team sport.’