Bukayo Saka is Arsenal¿s smiling assassin, who will shred defences with dynamite in both feet

There is a particular passage of play that stuck with the PE teacher at Greenford High School in west London.

Not during the Year 8 County Cup win. But when Bukayo Saka — then in Year 7 — had possession on the right wing, beat a handful of defenders, before cutting inside and firing a left-foot shot into the top corner. It turns out Saka hasn’t forgotten that skill, either.

On Sunday evening, as Arsenal tried to wrestle free of Manchester United, Saka picked up the ball near the same flank. This time, he needed only to shimmy beyond Christian Eriksen on to his left foot. This time, the ball nestled in the bottom corner.

Bukayo Saka is Arsenal’s smiling assassin, who will shred defences with dynamite in both feet 

Not much else has survived the decade in between. Nothing in Saka’s life has remained unblemished by the harsh and howling winds of football. Except his faith, his charm. And the fearless abandon that still defines 90 minutes of his week. Saka is cultivating a more ruthless, clinical edge but nothing — not his rise, the penalty heartbreak, the racist abuse — has altered his mission statement from a while back: ‘I just want to enjoy it.’

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