With a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad confirmed, the Saka star just keeps rising. Another unbelievable young talent living out his dream, the Arsenal man joined the ranks of stars to feature in our new special edition print publication, ‘SoccerBible Volumes’, which kicked off with our Summer ‘21 ‘Utopia’ edition.

Every now and then, football offers up a timely injection of energy, enthusiasm and excitement. In the form of Bukayo Saka, not only is he those three things but he is also a well spoken, courteous and charismatic leader for a new generation. Very much taking his moment, owning it and edging ever closer to international acclaim, we have all the respect for him and his words…

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Bukayo, how much do you like to express yourself in your game?

I think football is about expressing yourself. I think back to why I started football. It's because of the game, not because of the fame, money and stuff like that. I would say expressing myself has always been the main thing, just having fun on the pitch.

What about as an entertainer, would you ever describe yourself that way?

An entertainer on the pitch? I like to think that people think I am entertaining but I don’t know because that’s for the people to say.

Football offers a level of escapism for people. While this is your career, how passionate are you about the game from a fans perspective?

I am very passionate because when there’s football on the TV I still watch. I’ve been watching football since I was a kid so I am still a fan as well. I still watch the big games and hopefully I can be involved in the big Champions League nights.

What players really set the standard for you as a kid? What was it about their character that did?

I would say Ronaldo and Messi because they were both the best players in the world. They went about their thing in different ways but both of them had top mentalities and they always strived to be the best so I think that definitely did inspire me as a kid.

How much have you taken that into your game and how you present yourself?

Everytime I go on the pitch I try to give my all, hopefully it’s evident. I just try to give my best for my team, my club and my family.

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I think football is about expressing yourself. I think back to why I started football, and it's because of the game, not because of the fame."

Wearing the number seven shirt is an incredible statement from the club. What did that moment mean to you?

That’s probably one of the best moments of my career. I still think about all of the times I am going to the games, I look at my shirt and see the number seven. As a kid growing up in Arsenal to have a number like that, with all the legends that have worn it before, it means a lot that they gave it to me, that they believed in me and trusted in me. I still think about that all the time. I actually have it as my locked screen right now. You won't be able to see because I have a lot of notifications but you can sort of see it in the background.

How proud are you to have that level of support from the club and do you feel the pressure or does it fill you with adrenaline?

I would say it's more adrenaline. Because if I start to feel the pressure then I'll start to overthink then get nervous and anxious. That's all not good for my performance. So I would say no I don't feel the pressure, that's more adrenaline which gives me more confidence than pressure.

How surreal has it been to be playing without any fans and how much are you craving playing in front of them some more?

I miss the fans a lot. When you score a goal, you're running and the seats are empty, but it is what it is and I hope they will be back soon.

What is that rush of blood like to hear a roar from the fans when you are on the pitch?

It's amazing! Especially when you're tired and you hear the fans screaming it gives you that extra bit of energy. When you do something well they sing your name or clap for you it gives you a different feeling that you can't really describe.

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Is it like being in a dream at all? Do you ever find it very surreal?

No. I have before but I have to come out of it because when I was playing pre season at the Nou Camp, Barcelona's stadium, I used to watch that stadium when I watched the Champions League. I would find myself thinking about those Champions League nights and you have to come back into it because now it's your turn to play. I can't really find myself thinking it's a dream because I would just lose myself.

What did you dream of as a kid and what moment specifically when you thought of yourself as a player did you dream about?

I always dreamt about winning the Champions League always as a kid. It’s still the dream.

If you could describe what a dream summer would look like on the pitch how would you describe it?

Easy. Plenty of trophies.

You are coming through as part of a generation that is well rounded, well styled and forward thinking. How would you describe your mindset?

I would say I am very focused, goal oriented. I like to set goals and work towards them so I always have something to work towards and move forward.

Last question. The level you got to now has given you a taste of the future. How do you reset your standards and what are your ambitions?

I don't really do anything to reset because I make my own goals because every year I make my own goals with my family. We sit down and I have my own individual goals that I need to do and I try to achieve them every year.

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Pick up a copy of SoccerBible 'Volumes' – Summer ‘21 ‘Utopia’ Edition exclusively at prodirectsoccer.com