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Saka responds to Ferdinand’s claim that he ‘isn’t world class’

Stuart Telford
Bukayo Saka, Arsenal, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has given an emphatic answer to Rio Ferdinand’s claim that the winger isn’t yet ‘world class’.

Discussing a list of world class players with Martin Keown on TNT Sports, Ferdinand qualified why Saka didn’t make the cut for him.

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“Not yet,” he said. “Listen, I think Saka’s been unreal. I actually think he needs a bit of a rest, so many games for a young kid.

“But I think, it’s almost like what is world-class? He hasn’t done it in the Champions League, has he? I’m talking in the nitty-gritty stages. Saka’s top, don’t get me wrong. He’s not world-class yet.”

Since then, Saka made it six goals from five Premier League games as Arsenal beat Newcastle 4-1 on Saturday, and he appeared to respond to Ferdinand’s claim in his post-match interview.

Saka: ‘I have great teammates’

“Sixteen goals now this season, how about that finish as well, some would call it world-class…” said TNT reported Jules Breach, with the insinuation obvious.

Saka laughed and replied: “No comment. I’m happy with another goal today and more importantly happy to win. I’m working hard every day and giving my best. Obviously, I have great teammates giving me good passes which helps as well.

“We have been working hard and there’s a lot of quality going forward and it’s starting to click now – we just need to continue with this.”

Saka is rated at €100 million by FootballTransfers – our in-house algorithm’s fifth-most valuable player – and already has 107 direct goal-involvements from 213 Arsenal appearances in all competitions despite his tender 22 years.

While he has three goals and four assists from six Champions League outings this season, he drew a blank in his first knock-out stage game as the Gunners were beaten 1-0 by Porto in their last 16 first round tie on Wednesday.

Does Ferdinand have a point?

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