Peter Crouch has tipped Arsenal rookie Bukayo Saka for huge things as he backed him to be one of the stars of a golden generation of English youngsters.
Writing in the Daily Mail, the former England striker namechecked the 17-year-old winger along with the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi as teenagers with massive futures.
“I am also hearing a lot about a young winger at Arsenal called Bukayo Saka,” Crouch wrote in the Mail. “Those who have watched him frequently say he is very exciting.
“He is only 17 but if he progresses as is hoped, his name will be spoken about much more in the future.”
Crouch is an experienced football man who is well connected and knows the game inside out.
He is at the final stage of his own playing career but has one eye on the future as he picks out Saka as someone who can be seriously special.
The winger does not have as big a profile as thriving loanee Reiss Nelson or even youthful teammates Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah, but there are growing whispers the youngest of the bench could be the best of the lot.
Saka has made four appearances to date for Arsenal, including a Premier League debut as a substitute in the 4-1 New Year’s Day win over Fulham.
It is a great time for a young player at the club as there is little in the way of cash for marquee transfers and manager Unai Emery has little respect for reputations or pecking orders. If you’re good enough, you get picked. Simple.
With only loan signings expected this month, Saka and company have the opportunity to live up to their billing from the likes of Crouch.