Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka was a key force behind the team’s important 3-2 victory over Manchester United yesterday (January 22), according to former United defender Rio Ferdinand.
Saka scored a brilliant goal, Arsenal’s second of the night, and was impressive all over the pitch. He managed to regularly trouble the United defense with his wonderful dribble and direct running that led to a strong threat on goal. Ferdinand also claimed that Saka was his pick for best young player of the year.
Speaking on his FIVE show, Ferdinand said that Saka had left-back Shaw “scared”.
“I think Saka, my young player of the year, had Shaw scared,” he said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen Shaw look like, ‘Oh, this guy has got my number’.”
The former England international felt Shaw allowed the Arsenal forward too much freedom on the pitch.
“He gave him far too much space a lot of the time, allowed him to run and get into the box before engaging with him because he didn’t want to get beat,” Ferdinand said.
The 44-year-old also complimented the United left-back for his performance so far this season.
“He thought if he tried to face him up he’d just shift it round him. But Shaw’s been magnificent for United up to this point,” he added.
Arsenal are now five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a game in hand, making them the favorites to lift the trophy at the end of the season. Manchester City are giving them a chase and the two remaining fixtures between them are set to play a vital role in deciding the eventual champions.
Manchester United, on the other hand, fell behind Newcastle to fourth place in the table, albeit on goal difference. Manager Erik ten Hag will now look to regroup and continue the team’s charge for a top-four spot.
Star midfielder prefers move to Arsenal over Chelsea: Reports
West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice would prefer to move to Arsenal over Chelsea at the end of the season.
According to The Guardian, the prospect of playing for manager Mikel Arteta has piqued the interest of the player who looks for a move away from the Hammers who are battling relegation.
Rice was part of Chelsea’s academy until the age of 14 and there has been much speculation that he will want to return to the Blues. However, the report adds that Arteta is a huge fan of Rice and has already made plans to fit the midfielder into his team.
While West Ham are hoping to receive around £100 million for the player, a deal could be struck for around £80 million as the player’s contract expires in the summer of 2024.