The teenage wing received a hero on the club’s training ground after a roller coaster summer with England at Euro 2020
Bukayo Saka received a wall of positive messages and letters on his return to Arsenal.
The 19-year-old returned to the Gunners’ training ground for tests before the season on Wednesday, as he has been on holiday since playing for England at the European Championships.
Saka played a key role in the run-up to the final round of the tournament, but received racist abuse after their defeat against Italy, and Arsenal fans marched against the teenager ahead of the 2021-222 campaign.
What was said?
Arsenal have posted a video on their social media channels in which Saka reads special tributes and messages from fans on one of the walls of their indoor training facility in London Colney.
“How can I even say thank you for all this?” the wing can hear the cameraman ask after reading the letters.
Saka’s roller coaster summer
Saka has been named in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad following an impressive 2020-21 campaign at Arsenal, and has shown no signs of nervousness on the international stage.
The Arsenal star has played in four of England’s seven matches, including a man-of-the-match performance in their 1-0 group stage victory over the Czech Republic on the third day.
Saka also comes as a substitute in the final against Italy, but his night ended in sadness when he lost the Three Lions’ fifth penalty in their match.
Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also could not turn from 12 yards out, and all three men were racistly abused online after the match.
The Football Association has called on social media companies to do more to protect footballers, while the Metropolitan Police have launched a formal investigation into the abuse.
Saka’s career record
Saka has made 88 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal since breaking into the senior team in 2018 and scoring 11 goals.
The talented striker also contributed 21 assists to the Gunners’ goal, while establishing himself as one of the most important members of Mikel Arteta’s team for the past 18 months.
Saka’s performances earned him his first English call in September last year, and he now has nine international appearances and one goal to his name.