The English international thanked Spurs fans for welcoming him when he returned at the weekend
Bukayo Saka received a standing ovation from Tottenham fans during Arsenal’s last friendly match before their season against their arch-rivals.
Saka came off the bench on Sunday in the second half of Arsenal’s game with Spurs, which made its first appearance since England’s final defeat in Euro 2020 against Italy.
The 19-year-old was racistly abused after the loss of the Three Lions at Wembley on July 11, but received an exciting reception from both the home and away away backs when he returned to the club’s performance at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang makes way for Saka in the 63rd minute of the match, and both sets of fans stand to slap the wing on the field in a gripping show of support for one of England’s most talented young players.
Arsenal eventually lost 1-0 courtesy of a late goal from Son Heung-min, but Saka will now start opening his latest Premier League campaign on Friday night at the newly promoted Brentford.
What was said?
Saka went to social media after the game to express his gratitude to the Spurs fans for their stylish gesture.
“Much respect for this, thank you!” wrote the Gunners star on his Instagram story.
Meanwhile, Tottenham posted a video of Saka’s introduction on their account with the caption: “Rivalries aside. What a moment it was this afternoon.”
Soccer World Cup Meetings Around Saka
Saka missed the crucial fifth penalty when England were defeated in a dramatic battle against Italy in the European Championship, and were subsequently subjected to racist abuse online along with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – who also failed to turn from 12 yards out.
The FA quickly condemned the abuse and called on social media companies to change their policies to offer players more protection, while the Metropolitan Police launched a full investigation.
Saka took a break for his summer break before returning to Arsenal’s training ground last week, where he received a wall of messages and tributes from fans.
After the teenager also greeted him warmly by the Spurs, the teenager can probably expect to receive more support from clubs across the country as the new season is in full swing later this month.