The man who could save Arsenal millions

In recent weeks Bukayo Saka has put in some superb performances at left back that has left some calling for him to get an England call up.

The 18-year-old is exciting. And it will be even more exciting when he is played further forward on the left wing.

Saka is a winger. He is an attacker. A goal scorer. A creator. He is not a left back.

Whilst he can be commended for his performances at full back – and his time there will make him a  much more rounded players, anyone that thinks he will do an “Ashley Cole” and move from winger needs to remove those thoughts from their mind.

Arsenal lack wingers – the only senior natural winger in the squad is Nicolas Pepe. Saka and Reiss Nelson are both huge talents.

This lack of wide man has led Mikel Arteta to play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out wide.

Whilst Aubameyang is a goal threat, he does not really create much. Playing on the left wing he is currently averaging less than 1 chance created per 90 minutes (0.7). That is not good enough.

Gabriel Martinelli has also played a little bit on the left wing. But like Aubameyang he does not really crate much – 0.3 chances created per 90 minutes.

Meanwhile Saka has 8 assists this season, which is more than Martinelli and Aubameyang combined.

Some have made the point that Arteta could keep Saka at left back and play either Martinelli or Aubameyang ahead of him, in an ultra attacking left hand side. But Saka at left back is not as effective going forward as Saka on the wing.

At left back, Saka creates 0.8 chances per 90 minutes. That nearly trebles to 2.3 chances created when he is played in a more forward position on the left hand side.

The statistics show that he is easily our most creative player on the left wing.

You then have Kieran Tierney.

Tierney is the best crosser of the ball at the club. He has shown in his few games this season that he is a threat going forward similar to that of Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool.

Tierney averages 1.1 chances created per 90minutes.

So in Tierney, we have a left back that creates more chances than Saka. And in Saka we have a winger who creates more chances than Aubameyang and Martinelli.

It is a simple equation. The more chances you create the more chances you have to score.

Saka and Tierney on the left will create 3+ chances a game between them. Any other combination does not even create 2 chances a game.

By pushing Saka forward on the wing, it also forces Aubamayang back into the middle. He is out best striker. He should play down the middle.

With Hector Bellerin and Nicolas Pepe beginning to build a relationship on the right hand side, it would make a lot of sense for Arteta to play Tierney / Saka on the left until the end of the season. Saka could save us millions!

It is clear that Saka and Tierney are our most creative duo. It will be exciting when they are together.

Keenos

2 thoughts on “The man who could save Arsenal millions

  1. Mr. T

    I think there is a point to be made that the reason Saka has delivered so much on the leftback is because Xhaka drops to the leftback and Auba drifts inside, while we are in posession. That leaves Saka with a lot of space on the flank where he is so effective. If he was to play as a winger, he would either have to roam inside (like Auba) or stay out wide, which would give the rightback of the opponent an easier time covering him.
    Either way, we should definitely try it out!

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  2. Jeff Considine

    K. Tierney at LB with Saka/Martinelli LW, Pepe RW, Auba up top and drop Ozil and put Láca in the CAM/no.10 role behind Auba I personally think that is the best way to go tbh!!! #COYG

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