The most remarkable thing when watching Saka is how defenders don’t dive in against him. They double up or drop off him. He causes such doubt and uneasiness in opposition fullbacks.
Then he’ll get his pass off 19/20 times, or he’ll keep them back pedaling, or he’ll body feint, or he’ll use his pace to get past them.
His decision making is absolutely elite already. He very rarely does something wrong on the ball. He can read defenders so fucking well, and even though he’s 20, he gets so much respect from defenders. That’s why they resort to booting him up in the air.
He has this almost intangible quality where he’s already won the mind game against the defender. It’s not as though he has insane flair, or an insane touch (like Foden for example), he just has this aura that scares defenders. It means he almost always has an extra yard or second to think about what he’s doing. And he doesn’t panic, he has such great composure in those situations. Again, it comes back to his elite decision making.
Contrast to Pépé who you can quite easily intimidate or disturb his rhythm when you double up on him. Saka finds another solution in those situations.
Yup defenders can pretty much predict what Pepe’s gonna do, whereas Saka mixes it up a lot
He also has ridiculous upper body strength and balance for someone so small and sleight. Saka will happily receive the ball down the line with his back to goal, with a fullback right up his arse and still manage to hold them off.
The only other small player with this trait that I can think of is Sterling.
Good decision, to score a couple back to back is no short feat. Always feel like we get let down in the penalties department so hopefully he remains consistent
Not sure why some feel we over rate him and that he hasn’t a chance of being YPOTY. Deserves the plaudits
Ughh, a reference to Dele Alli
Second half of the season Saka has been so much better than the first half of the season. These last few months in particular he’s found a way to impact games even when he’s played poorly.
The numbers don’t lie, at this stage anything I’ve said about him not being ready for the first team (as a nailed on started) is being proven to be incorrect every single time he plays.
If anything, this shows his growth.
Interested to see what he does in CL if we make it back next season.
KdB’s got this one doesn’t he.
I mean the only other contender might be Salah and then it prolly comes down to which one of them wins the league.
Even to be recognised is a huge achievement.
All I know is that Salah dropped the ball here.
KDB earned this.
We need Saka to have a big performance at Newcastle, very quiet last 2 games.
It’s one of those ones though where Salah’s first half of the season and a bit shouldn’t be discounted, he was on absolute fire.
Just because KDB finishes stronger doesn’t mean he should necessarily get it because no one was up there with Salah for the 1st half of the season
Credit to Saka though very good season and hope he builds on it
Nominated for young player of the season as well, along with some players who really shouldn’t be allowed in this category - including 24 year old Ramsdale.