Bukayo Saka says making his Arsenal full debut was a ‘dream come true'.
The 17-year-old winger was handed his first senior start in Thursday’s Europa League encounter against Qarabag and impressed as Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half goal saw off their visitors at the Emirates.
“It is a dream come true,” Saka told club website. “Ever since I joined the club at the age of eight I always dreamed of playing at the Emirates so for all the coaches and the fans to support me tonight was really good.
“I didn’t start too fast but I grew into the game and that’s what I wanted to do. I started to get past my man and create chances and I could have scored at the end, I don’t know what happened.”
When asked about when he knew he would be starting, Saka who made his senior debut coming off the bench in the Gunners’ win over Vorskla Poltava away in Kiev said: “It was Wednesday in training,” he said when asked when he knew he would be playing.
“We went through the team and (head coach Unai Emery) called it out and I couldn’t believe it, but I just had to get on with it.
“I just focused, and I couldn’t stop thinking about today and how I was going to play, and I think it turned out alright. But I should have got my goal.
“I think I just need to keep playing well at academy level and any chance I have an opportunity to train with the first team I need to impress the head coach and show him what I can do, so he can believe in me like he did tonight.”
Coach Unai Emery was full of praise for the youngster, hailing his ‘very big personality’ that influenced their play.
“Saka played with a good performance,” the Spaniard said.
“With a very big personality and we were speaking at half-time. His personality is very important for us to continue trying to go one-v-one and break lines with his quality.
“He played with a very big personality and sometimes with a very good performance.
“It’s very important for his confidence and for us also, because we can look at this player and see quality to help us.”