Rio Ferdinand tells Arsenal star he ‘needs a rest’ as Man Utd legend drops harsh verdict

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal player told he's not world class
Bukayo Saka alongside Gabriel Martinelli.

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has offered his thoughts on Arsenal and England winger Bukayo Saka, who is in “need of a rest”.

Saka has been sensational for the Gunners and England over the past couple of years as he has established himself as one of the best young forwards in Europe.

The 22-year-old has gradually got even better over the past couple of years and he is on track for his best season to date on a personal level. So far this term, he has 13 goals and 13 assists in his 31 appearances across all competitions.

Arsenal narrowly missed out on the Premier League title last season but their second-place finish secured them a spot in the Champions League.

They advanced to the knockout stages without too much trouble and Saka impressed in the group stages as he was involved in seven goals in five matches.

Despite this, Man Utd legend Ferdinand has argued that Saka is “not world-class yet” and even suggested that the attacker “needs a bit of a rest”.

When asked whether Saka is “world-class”, Ferdinand said via his Vibe with Five podcast: “Not yet. Listen, I think Saka’s been unreal. I actually think he needs a bit of a rest, so many games for a young kid.”

“But I think, it’s almost like what is world-class? He hasn’t done it in the Champions League, has he? I’m talking in the nitty-gritty stages.

“Saka’s top, don’t get me wrong. He’s not world-class yet.”

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The Gunners struggled over Christmas but they have returned to their best in recent weeks.

Saka has scored in three consecutive Premier League matches as Arsenal have won four games in a row. The Gunners followed up their much-needed 3-1 win over Liverpool with a 6-0 thumping of West Ham last weekend.

Arsenal appear to be purring at the right time and as things stand, they will be three points adrift of Man City if they win their remaining game of hand. Ex-Gunners star David Seaman thinks his former club are “definitely in contention” for the Premier League title.

“Arsenal have got a few games coming up where they can really look to apply the pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool,” Seaman said during an interview for Parimatch.

“That’s all they can do at the moment – just keep applying pressure. It’s a little different to last season where they were being chased down and hounded by a ruthless Man City side, so let’s see how they handle it this year – it might allow them to develop more momentum.

“They’re definitely in contention. They’ve been in contention for two years now – it wasn’t long ago when they were celebrating getting into the top four, so it’s such an improvement and a big difference.

“The club is progressively getting better and I’m excited to see how the season unfolds.”

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