It had to be him.
After another brilliant year of establishing himself as one of the bright young talents in the world of soccer, Bukayo Saka has been named Arsenal’s player of the season for the second year in a row.
What else is there to say about the electric young man who exploded onto the scene last season? His ascendancy has seen him become the most heralded Academy graduate arguably since Cesc Fabregas, and he is without a doubt one of the most promising young British talents in the game today. Last season saw the England international go from “young name to look out for” to “name you should know” by the end of the season, and this season saw him cement himself as a household name. To say the future is bright for the Arsenal man is a criminal understatement.
Few players can be considered “undroppable,” but he has more than earned that accolade. He has become one of most dynamic, exciting, and feared wide players in the Premier League this season, and earned nominations for Premier League Player of the Season as well as PL Young Player of the Season, losing out to Manchester City’s Phil Foden (lukewarm take: I don't think someone who wasn’t even nominated for PL POS should beat out someone for the Young POS who was).
Over 43 matches in the 2021-22 season, Saka scored 12 goals and 7 assists while also creating 74 chances, bettering his stats from the previous season. There are some, sadly, who look at raw stats and are all too eager to discount his impact due to the lack of goals scored. But those people a) are silly and b) overlook the fact that Arsenal as a whole failed to be consistently productive in front of goal. Saka’s value is not just in his goal contributions, but in his tremendous ability to drag defenders out of position, beat them on the dribble, and create either a shot or a chance, which is unrivaled on the squad and is among the best in the league.
With his second win, Bukayo has now joined a list alongside some of Arsenal’s greats, with Tony Adams, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Alexis Sanchez, and Aaron Ramsey all with two to their names. The only players with more are, surprisingly, Liam Brady (3) and, unsurprisingly, Thierry Henry, who won the award 4 times (granted, he was the best player on a roster full of elite talent that all could have won it). He also becomes the first player since Henry to win it consecutively.
What's next for the promising young Gunner? With any luck, a contract extension and a much-deserved pay bump. For now, a big congrats to Arsenal’s Starboy.