Adams: Saka is the BEST player in the world right now besides Messi

Arsenal legend Tony Adams claims Bukayo Saka is the best player in WORLD right now along with Lionel Messi – and urges Mikel Arteta to build his side around the England star in a bid to conquer Europe

  • Bukayo Saka has superb during Arsenal’s Premier League title surge this season
  • Tony Adams believes he is the standout candidate to win Footballer of the Year 
  • Sportsmail’s Chris Sutton has also named him the best right winger in the world

Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka is the best player in world football apart from World Cup winner Lionel Messi, ex-Gunners captain Tony Adams has claimed.

Saka, who has been Mikel Arteta’s talisman at the Emirates this season with 22 goal contributions in 28 league appearances, is bidding to clinch Arsenal’s first title in two decades – and is impressing on the international stage as well.

Continuing to impress under England boss Gareth Southgate, the 21-year-old winger netted a glorious goal from outside the box against Ukraine on Sunday, helping the Three Lions remain at the top of their Euro 2024 qualifying group with a 2-0 victory.

Meanwhile in the Premier League, Saka’s form has been as explosive, chalking up eight goal contributions in his last eight matches. 

Arsenal legend Adams can only think of one player in world football better than Saka right now, and he’s long been considered one of the greatest players of all time.

Bukayo Saka is the best player in world football besides Lionel Messi, Tony Adams has claimed

Paris Saint-Germain icon Messi is continuing to impress off the back of his World Cup triumph 

During his column for The Sun, Adams insisted: ‘If there’s a better player in world football at the moment, someone who both scores and makes goals, the only one I can think of is Lionel Messi.

‘Bukayo is absolutely on fire and the reason Arsenal are top of the table.

‘Erling Haaland might be scoring hundreds of goals for Manchester City and Marcus Rashford is also having a phenomenal season for United.

‘But Bukayo is, hands down, the Footballer of the Year because he was England’s best player at the World Cup and he’s been the best player for the team eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.’

Looking ahead to the summer, the 56-year-old has urged his former club to tie Saka down to a lengthy contract, with Manchester City among the European giants to have previously expressed interest in the superstar.

Adams (left) – pictured with Oleksandr Zinchenko (centre) and ex-Gunners team-mate David Seaman (right) – has urged Arsenal to sign Saka on a lengthy deal so he can ‘stop worrying’

Adams feels Arsenal’s proactivity in the transfer market could help the youngster remain at the Emirates long-term. 

The Gunners attacked last summer’s transfer window, luring key assets such as Manchester City duo Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, and will likely have to do so again should they wish to kick on in the Champions League next season.

Adams added: ‘Hopefully, they will soon get Bukayo tied down to a lengthy new contract, so I can stop worrying.

‘Like me, he’s a London-born Arsenal fan who graduated through the academy and has the club in his blood.

The former Arsenal captain has urged boss Mikel Arteta not to take Saka’s loyalty for granted

Saka is steering Arsenal to the Premier League title – with 22 goal contributions in 28 matches

‘But even though the Gunners hierarchy are pretty confident he’s never going to leave them, they should never take that loyalty for granted.

‘Now Mikel Arteta and the board have to convince Bukayo to stay by going big again in the transfer market this summer.

‘Playing in the Champions League next season will be a whole new ball game for this Arsenal team. And it’s going to be really difficult for the current squad to compete at that level while also challenging for the title.

‘We all saw what happened when Mikel rested a couple of his big boys in the Europa League the other week. The back-up players looked bang average and were played off the park by Sporting Lisbon.’

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