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15 Bafflingly Brilliant Bukayo Saka Facts!

Bukayo Saka is an Arsenal and England favourite. Here's some amazing facts you might not know about this football star!

Beano Team
Last Updated:  September 13th 2023

Bukayo Saka is a young Arsenal star whose performances on the pitch have already set him on course for legend status at the Emirates Stadium. Here's some amazing facts about the England star, from his very early start at the Gunners to becoming an integral part of the England national team!

1. Bukayo was born in London!

Bukayo was born on 5 September 2001 in Ealing, which is in West London. His parents are called Adenike and Yomi.

2. His name has a special meaning!

Baby blocks

His full name is Bukayo Ayoyinka Temidayo Saka. His grandmother picked the name Bukayo, which means 'joy' in the Yoruba language. "My grandma gave [my name] to me because of its meaning," he once said in an interview. "It means ‘God has added joy to my life.’"

3. He was a star in the classroom before playing professional football!

An excellent school report card

Bukayo went to Greenford High School in Ealing, where he achieved high grades in his GCSEs, getting four A*s and three As!

4. Saka joined Arsenal's youth academy at the age of 7

Bukayo Saka

He joined the London team's Hale End academy when he was just 7 years old, having showed so much promise at a young age. When he turned 17, he was given a professional contract with the team.

5. Made his first team debut aged 17!

Arsenal club badge
Arsenal FC

Bukayo made his first-team debut for Arsenal on November 29, 2018, in a Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava.

6. He scored on his debut for England!

Bukayo Saka

On June 2, 2021, he scored on his first appearance for the senior team in a friendly against Austria. He was named 'man of the match' a few weeks later, when the team faced the Czech Republic in a group stage game in the Euros 2020.

7. He's called 'Little Chilli' at Arsenal

A red chilli pepper

Former Arsenal player and Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coined Bukayo's nickname during a training session."He said it in French," he explained in a press conference. "We're doing one finishing drill one time in training and he kept saying it, and I kept scoring, I was shooting with so much power and he was calling me little chilli in French [petit piment]. A lot of people call me it."

8. He spent some time at Watford

Before joining Arsenal, Bukayo was briefly part of Watford's youth team when he was 7. Before the Euro 2020 tournament, the club congratulated their former youth player, tweeting "It all started for the forward in our Academy."

9. He's one of Arsenal's greatest players

In recent years, Bukayo has won the Arsenal Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022! He's one of the team's most exciting players and looks set to become a legend at the Emirates Stadium (which he is already, come to think of it).

10. He's 178 Beanos tall!

The Arsenal star's height is the equivalent of 178 Beano comics stacked high! If you insist on actual measurements, that's 5'10 or 1.78 metres tall!

11. He champions the BigShoe charity!

Bukayo has teamed up with the BigShoe charity, which was started to help less well-off children children with life changing medical operations and more. He helped the organisation with 120 life-changing operations for children in Kano, Nigeria!

12. Bukayo has average-sized feet!

Red football boots

The Arsenal goal-getter is said to be 9.5 when it comes to wearing football boots. The average sized man's foot in the UK is 9, but not every man in the UK can kick a ball like him. That's a fact. Another fact: Bukayo's preferred foot is his left.

13. He was named England's Player of the Year in 2023!

England FC

He was voted England's Player of the Year for the second year running in 2023, and was presented with his trophy by Tottenham star and England teammate James Maddison!

14. He's a Beano Power Awards winner!

Sure, he earned Player of the Match after a win against Ukraine at Wembley and another victory over North Macedonia at Old Trafford, but did you know he scooped the 2022 Beano Power Award for Sports Person?

15. His shirt number is considered lucky!

All around the world, the number 7 is considered lucky – especially in North London where Saka plays. He's signed a new contract in 2023 which means he'll be playing for Arsenal for years to come!