Bukayo Saka has been awarded the PFA men’s Young Player of the Year award for his displays during the 2022/23 season.
Having been nominated on three occasions previously, the 21-year-old’s exploits during last season were too good to be ignored this time around by his peers, with members of the Professional Footballers’ Association voting for the winner.
Bukayo polled the most votes to finish ahead of teammate Gabriel Martinelli, who was also a potentially worthy recipient having netted 15 Premier League goals to be our joint-top scorer for the campaign alongside Martin Odegaard.
The other contenders for the accolade were Manchester City goal machine Erling Haaland, Jacob Ramsey of Aston Villa, Brighton striker Evan Ferguson and his former Seagull Moises Caicedo, who recently joined Chelsea.
However Bukayo came out on top after enjoying an incredible campaign by scoring a career-high 15 times in all competitions, as well as providing 11 assists. He was also involved in all 38 Premier League games for the second season in a row, and starred at the 2022 World Cup for England by netting three times in four games during the Three Lions’ run to the quarter-finals in Qatar.
His season ended with the news that he had signed a new long-term deal with the club where he has been since he was eight years old.
Bukayo had already earned recognition elsewhere last term, as he won the Football London Young Player of the Year award and finished third in the Football Writer’s Association Player of the Year voting. He was also nominated for both the Premier League’s Player and Young Player of the Season, before clinching the prestigious PFA prize.
This is the 50th year of the award since it began in 1973/74, and Bukayo is the 45th different recipient and sixth Gunner to win it. He follows in the illustrious footsteps of Tony Adams (1986/87), Paul Merson (1988/89), Nicolas Anelka (1998/99), Cesc Fabregas (2007/08) and Jack Wilshere (2010/11).
It was Jack who handed over the trophy to Bukayo at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester, as two of the biggest Hale End products shared a nice moment on stage together.
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