Unai Emery fielded some young talent in Thursday’s Europa League clash against Qarabag, including 17-year-old midfielder Buyako Saka.
Arsenal had already secured a spot in the last 32 of the tournament before this match-up, so Emery brought back Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny after returning from injury, and gave younger players a chance. Bukayo Saka stood out in a young Arsenal side that beat Qarabag FK 1-0 in the last group stage match of the Europa League.
“I joined the club at the age of eight. I always dreamed of playing at the Emirates,” Saka said, according to Goal.
“I grew into the game, that’s what I wanted to do. I should have scored at the end but I don’t know what happened.
Saka went on to describe how it felt to debut with the first team, saying it was hard to believe.
“On Wednesday in training he [Emery] went through the team and I couldn’t believe it. I had to get on with it and focus but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“My family were buzzing and I couldn’t stop smiling last night. They managed to put me to bed early.
“I have to keep playing well at youth and academy level and whenever I get the chance in the first team I have to impress the manager.”