Reiss Nelson’s Bukayo Saka prediction from 2018 has been proven correct after the 19-year-old’s consistent performances for club and country.
Saka has proven to be one of Arsenal’s most exciting players over the course of the last 18 months, winning the Gunners’ 2020/21 Players of the Season award in the process.
His eye-catching displays then earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020 and the starlet has been equally impressive when given a chance for The Three Lions this summer, picking up a man-of-the-match award for his performance against the Czech Republic in the group stages.
And Saka’s Arsenal teammate Reiss Nelson is not surprised with the youngster’s development, telling journalist David Ornstein back in 2018 that he was the main star of the Hale End academy to watch out for.
“I went to interview Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho in Dortmund in 2018,” Ornstein told The Athletic’s England Show podcast.
“And just before we started rolling in the interview, Nelson and I were talking about Arsenal players.
“And I said ‘I heard so much about you coming through because you were friends with Jadon Sancho, and you were peers. You’re the one, right? But there’s also others, there’s Willocks I’ve heard of, Nketiahs…’
“And he just stopped me while I was speaking and said, ‘There’s only one you should watch out for: and it’s Saka.’
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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“So this was 2018 so Saka was probably about 16 years old, and [Nelson] said ‘That is the one. That boy can do things that you won’t have seen on a football pitch’.”
The teenage sensation bagged 16 goals and assists combined for the North London side last term, and will hope he can find a place in the England line-up tomorrow night when The Three Lions face Ukraine at Wembley.