Bukayo Saka is a superstar in the making, so why doesn’t the Arsenal man get as much hype as some of the others? A simple answer to a simple question…
Bukayo Saka was completely left off of a recent study of the most valuable young stars in the world. This is insane to think about when you consider that the Arsenal teen leads all Premier League teens in assists. He unseated Nicolas Pepe at one point and now he’s being used as a fullback.
Yet he gets no love. He is apparently worth next to nothing, while Phil Foden and the like skyrocket in value. So what is it exactly that’s holding Saka back from being truly appreciated?
Well, the answer may be a simple one, but it comes in two parts. For starters, he doesn’t have a position. A true position. It’s a lot of the same reasoning why Ainsley Maitland-Niles never got the hype (and still doesn’t) and why even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s wasn’t as big as it felt like it should have been.
Hype may be unpredictable, but it latches onto clarity. Jadon Sancho? He’s a winger. Mason Greenwood? He’s a striker. These are clean-cut positions to effectively judge.
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What do you judge a winger playing leftback on? His ability to defend? To adapt to his changing situation? He’s playing as a fill-in right now, and that’s detracting from the value and from the numbers he is putting up. If he can’t even secure a starting job, as so many of the other youngsters are doing on this list, how good can he really be?
Not helping that is Gabriel Martinelli, who is probably more in line to take that left-wing role that Saka is coveting. Martinelli didn’t rank highly on the list either, but he did rank in at 21st, despite having very similar numbers to Saka. But Martinelli is easier to define. He’s a winger. He can play forward too, but doesn’t often.
Saka doesn’t have that luxury. He is a winger, but until we see him doing more winging, he’s likely to continue to fly under the radar and not be a part of the hype train that has caught so many other youngsters.
Right now, all of this is a moot point if we can’t get him the contract extension he deserves. So maybe the lack of hype can help us in that regard.