Mohamed Elneny described Bukayo Saka as his “little brother” as he predicted big things for the Arsenal teenager.
Saka’s season just keeps getting better, with the 19-year-old having made his England debut in Thursday’s 3-0 win over Wales.
That followed a goal in the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Sheffield United last Sunday, with Saka having made four appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side so far this season.
And his team-mate Elneny said Saka’s attitude is what marks him out for a bright future in the game.
“I love him because he’s really humble, he’s like my little brother,” the Egypt international told Arsenal’s official website.
“He’s always laughing and I love him as well because every day I can feel that he wants to learn new things.
“This makes me think this guy will improve a lot because if you always come to training to try to learn from the people around you, when you have a chance to play and give 100 per cent all of the time and you love what you do, it’s only going to be good for him.
“I’m really happy for him.”
Saka has played in midfield and as a wing-back for Arsenal this season, while he can also play further forward as a winger.
He has cemented his place in Arteta’s first-team plans with 43 appearances since the manager took charge.
Arteta has been blown away by the youngster’s progress over the last year, in particular his ability to read the game and his decision making.
“The way he’s maturing, the way he’s assimilating everything that’s happened to him in the last few months is remarkable.
“Physically he has evolved. He looks a little bit older. But then how he’s able to read the game, the situation that happens to him, how he resolves the situation, how long it takes to make those decisions.
“His communication has improved a lot towards his team-mates as well because he feels more part of the team, he’s integrated, he feels important in the team I think.
“Then what he’s able to do with the ball in the final third when things get a little bit difficult, and how he approaches those moments is probably the biggest part of his game.
“What I like about him is that he’s very versatile, he’s really intelligent and that he adapts and has a lot of courage to play the game.
“It doesn’t matter which position he plays, he acts exactly the same way. He’s so willing to learn and ask the right questions that he can set his own limits.”
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England boss Gareth Southgate has also been impressed with Saka this season, and revealed where he saw the youngster playing for the Three Lions.
“I’ve loved getting to know Bukayo this week, a really charming personality you can really see how excited he is by everything,” Southgate said at a press conference.
“Also he is an exciting player, we know he can play four or five different positions already.
“He’s done that for Arsenal – wide left, wide right, wing back, left back. I think out and out left back at this level would be a little bit more difficult, but any of those advanced positions he is more than capable.”
Saka and his Arsenal team-mates will be back in action a week on Saturday, travelling to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City.
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