‘Only great players give these type of passes… it’s WORLD CLASS’: Robin van Persie compares Arsenal wonderkid Bukayo Saka to Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and club legend Dennis Bergkamp after superb assist against Olympiacos
Robin van Persie heaped praise on Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka after starring in the 1-0 victory over Olympiacos in their Europa League last-32 first leg tie.
The 18-year-old left back set up the winner with an inch-perfect cross into the box for Alexandre Lacazette on Thursday night.
Saka has provided eight assists this season and Van Persie compared his ability to legends Ryan Giggs, Dennis Bergkamp and Paul Scholes.
Arsenal left back Bukayo Saka has already provided eight assists in his first season
Van Persie compared his ability to legends Ryan Giggs, Dennis Bergkamp and Paul Scholes
Giggs (left) and Scholes (right) came through United’s academy and forged top careers
‘Ryan Giggs used to give those passes, Dennis Bergkamp, Paul Scholes,’ said Van Persie on BT Sport after the game.
‘This is like ordering your striker to move into the danger zone. It’s actually world-class. Really, really good.
‘This is not simple. This is very good, world-class. He makes it look easy but this pass, like I said, only the great players can give those passes.’
He continued: ‘He’s really taking his chance, and that’s nice to see from a young kid to really grab his chance and play for his future. And he’s doing it so well. It’s so nice to see.’
The youngster played a sublime pass into the box for Lacazette to attack and score from
Saka (right) is fast becoming a key player in Arteta’s rebuild of Arsenal this season
And the talent of Saka hasn’t escaped the attention of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard heaped praise on the youngster after the game, saying he possesses talent beyond the constraints of a full back.
‘We try to put him in the position where we can surround him with the right players in the right areas,’ the Arsenal boss said.
‘He’s not a full-back. He has a lot of courage to make decisions in the final third… I’m very pleased with his performance.’
Bergkamp acted as Arsenal’s creative force during their trophied years under Arsene Wenger
Arsenal take the tie back to the Emirates with a seemingly healthy advantage of an away goal lead next week, as Arteta’s side look to advance to the round of 16 of this year’s competition.
The Gunners are looking to make amends for last season’s disappointment after they lost to Chelsea 4-1 in the Baku final.