Phil Foden would not have the same impact that Bukayo Saka is having in the current Arsenal team, Emile Heskey believes.

Saka, 19, has been one of the Gunners’ most important players this season with six goals and three assists.

Saka equalised for Arsenal against Benfica on Thursday

Getty Images – Getty

Saka equalised for Arsenal against Benfica on Thursday

His latest goal came in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Benfica in the Europa League last-32 first leg clash.

Despite Foden’s 11 goals and six assists for Man City this term, former Liverpool striker Heskey would still take Saka over the 20-year-old in Arsenal’s starting XI.

He told talkSPORT: “It’s difficult to separate them. I think he’s done fantastic.

“For a young lad to take everything on his head because no one else is really pulling their own weight.

“Everything seems to be going through him at such a young age, 19.

“I don’t think Foden would have the same impact in the Arsenal team [as Saka].”

Foden and Saka will both be competing for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 this summer.

Foden is enjoying a breakthrough season with Man City


Foden is enjoying a breakthrough season with Man City

And speaking to talkSPORT, Gary Lineker believes the versatility of Saka, who can play as a winger, full-back or central midfielder, gives him a ‘massive advantage’ over his competition.

The former Three Lions striker said: “He’s got versatility to his game which will certainly help him but you have to remember in the wide areas we’ve got a phenomenal amount of talent.

“He can play anywhere which will be a massive advantage to him and he’s been brilliant but if you look at who we’ve got: Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Callum Hudson-Odoi. The list goes on.

“There’s a lot of competition but his performances have been brilliant, particularly as Arsenal have struggled in many ways.

“For a youngster to stand up under those circumstances is a really good sign.”


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