Arsenal are all set to begin their US tour fixtures, beginning with a match versus fellow Stan Kroenke-owned Colorado Rapids. The squad that flew across the pond was a mix of youth and established stars, but will there be a player that elevates their standing with their performances Stateside?
Perhaps it could be Bukayo Saka.
The youngster started to make his presence felt last season toward the tail end of the campaign. His displays for the U-23 side were too hard to ignore, and his fleeting cameos for the first team showed more than enough to warrant a closer look at what he can produce.
It also helps that Saka specialises in a position we are notoriously weak in. For quite some time we have needed to strengthen out wide, and Saka, while strong when cutting in, is also decent at skinning his man and fizzing in decent deliveries from the byline.
Which is something our excellent strikers would feed greedily from.
Saka is very much in need of minutes to push forward, and these friendlies could determine whether he does his growing with us or on loan.
Last season saw Saka really make his mark, earning five goals and eight assists in the Reserve Premier League. Those stats show the winger is ready for a higher calibre of opponent, a chance with the first team has very much been earned.
Unai Emery showed in last season’s pre-season that he isn’t averse in giving his youngsters the limelight if he feels that they warrant it, and Saka is among those at the front of the queue when it comes to deserving an opportunity.
Last season saw Rob Holding push forward his claim for the first eleven, as well as Eddie Nketiah and Jo Willock. These fixtures against the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina is asking these kids to really make an impact.
If they do, then we could see the next starlet in Arsenal colours making their mark.
As for Saka, if he continues his trajectory, then the sky is the limit for the pacy, skilful winger.