Pundit heaps praise on 20-year-old Arsenal ace

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Garth Crooks has not been shy in his praise for Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal experienced a great week last week.

Following wins over both Chelsea and Manchester United, the Gunners are now firm favourites to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Although manager Mikel Arteta will be pleased with his whole squad following 4-2 and 3-1 wins against Chelsea and United, respectively – special thanks will be owed to Saka, who ended up netting in both matches.

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Both the young Englishman’s strikes came from the spot, with particular pressure on his penalty kick against United, who, at the time, was just a goal down.

Bukayo Saka (centre) scored a crucial penalty for Arsenal against Manchester United on Saturday.

Discussing the youngster’s ability, as well as his development following his disastrous penalty kick miss against Italy in the final of last summer’s delayed Euros 2020, Crooks, who spoke to BBC Sport, said: “Missing penalties is an awful experience for any professional footballer and only those with the meanest intelligence could have anything other than complete and total sympathy for the taker.

“Saka not only has immense talent but courage to go with it. Returning to take penalties for your club, having missed them so publicly for your country, takes guts.

“His penalty against Chelsea in midweek followed by the one that sent David de Gea the wrong way against Manchester United were quite brilliant under the circumstances.”

Since the start of the season, Saka has featured in 38 matches, in all competitions, for Arsenal, directly contributing to an impressive 17 goals along the way.

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