Arsenal's Bukayo Saka Says He Is Looking to Emulate Cristiano Ronaldo

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: Bukayo Saka of FC Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal FC on September 19, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has identified Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo among his role models. 

Saka spoke after playing a starring role in the Gunners' 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

When asked to name his idol, he said, per Goal's Charles Watts:

"Cristiano Ronaldo. I love his mentality. He always wants to be the best, is always working hard on and off the pitch and trying to make his body the best. 

"When he gets on the pitch he performs with full confidence and full personality and shows why he's one of the best players to ever play football.

"I wouldn't say I have his attitude as we are two different players. He is unique, but I try to look at him and take the good things from his game and one of the good things from his game is his mentality. 

"He's always focused, always working, and I try to do that as well."

The 18-year-old made his fifth senior appearance for Arsenal, his first of the season.

He made it a memorable one, as he set up Joe Willock and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang either side of a 25-yard strike of his own (U.S. and UK only):

Scouted Football ran the rule over the teenager's performance:

Sports journalist Uche Amako was similarly impressed:

As far as players to base his game and work ethic on, Saka could do worse than choosing Ronaldo. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored almost 700 career goals and been at the top of the game for more than a decade.

His efforts have contributed to six combined league titles in England, Spain and Italy, five UEFA Champions Leagues and two international honours with Portugal.

After making four appearances for the Gunners last season, Saka's goal in this campaign will be to build on that and break into the first team proper.

Arsenal sold Alex Iwobi to Everton in the summer and loaned Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Roma, so there's room for someone to carve out a niche on their left flank.

Saka's performance on Thursday stands him in good stead to receive more opportunities this season. If he can continue to impress, he could force his way into manager Unai Emery's plans regularly over the course of the campaign.

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