Ferdinand issues brutal Arsenal put-down with UCL hanging over ‘not world-class’ attacker

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka is “not world-class yet” as he “hasn’t done it in the nitty-gritty stages of the Champions League.”

Saka has turned himself into one of the Gunners’ most potent attacking threats in the past few seasons. He’s come a long way since breaking into the side as a full-back.

Indeed, the winger has now scored 51 goals and provided 53 assists in 210 senior games.

When he notched his 50th goal during a 6-0 demolition of West Ham, he became the youngest Arsenal player to reach the milestone since 1978.

It was his 10th goal in the Premier League this season, to go along with eight assists. Only three players have been directly involved in more goals in the top flight than Saka this term.

He’s also been in decent form in his first Champions League season.

Indeed, Saka has scored three goals and provided four assists in the five games he’s played so far in the competition.

But given he’s only played in the group stage, and is yet to face any huge teams, Ferdinand feels he can’t be referred to as a world-class player.

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Saka is ‘not world-class yet’

“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?” Ferdinand said on Vibe with Five.

“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.”

While he’s yet to play in the knockout stages, his record so far in Europe’s elite competition is fantastic.

What’s more, he’s performed against some top teams in England, and is clearly one of the very best players in the country.

As such, it feels as if he should be thought of as a world-class player.

Saka has chance to prove his class

But if Ferdinand needs that proving in European competition, he might soon get his wish.

Indeed, Arsenal got through to the knockout stages, where they will face former winners Porto.

There are some huge teams still in the competition, so if the attacker can continue his form throughout, he might win Ferdinand’s approval.

Other than tackling the Champions League, a Premier League trophy is one of the only other things he needs to tick off, but there are some phenomenal players that never did that.

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