Everything you need to know about Bukayo Saka

Everything you need to know about Bukayo Saka – the straight A student from humble beginnings who’s set for a starring role in England’s World Cup opener

  • The winger from London is set to start ahead of Phil Foden against Iran today
  • The 21-year-old has not always had it easy and came from humble beginnings
  • He played for local club Greenford Celtic before being scouted by Arsenal

England star Bukayo Saka is riding high in the Premier League with top-of-the-table Arsenal. 

This season the winger, from London, has clocked up an impressive four goals and six assists in 14 games, and has been instrumental in his domestic club’s success. 

Today he’s set to start in England’s World Cup opener against Iran at 1.00pm in Doha, pipping Manchester City’s Phil Foden to the position. 

But the 21-year-old forward did not always have it easy, having started life from very humble beginnings. 

This season Saka (pictured), from London, has clocked up an impressive four goals and six assists in 14 games, and has been instrumental in his domestic club’s success. Pictured: Enjoying a holiday in Dubai 

Today he’s set to start in England’s World Cup opener against Iran at 1.00pm in Doha, pipping Manchester City’s Phil Foden to the position (Pictured: Saka with British rapper Stormzy)

The 21-year-old footballer did not always have it easy, having started life from very humble beginnings

Saka grew up in modest circumstances just five miles from Wembley where he lived with his Nigerian parents and siblings. 

The family stayed in a a small two-storey semi-detached home in Greenford, in the borough of Ealing, London.

From the age of three he was playing football on a communal green with his father Yomi and older brother Abayomi every night.

As a youngster he played for his local club Greenford Celtic until he was scouted by Arsenal aged seven. 

His parents made many sacrifices as he flew through the ranks, with his  mother Adenike and father working menial jobs to pay the bills while ferrying him to football in the evenings and on weekends. 

As a youngster he played for his local club Greenford Celtic until he was scouted by Arsenal aged seven (Pictured: Saka at a young age at Arsenal’s academy)

He started his academic life at Edward Betham of E Primary School School, where his sporting prowess also showe

Greenford High School where Bukayo Saka was a pupil, gaining all As and A*s at GCSE

As a boy he went to Edward Betham C of E Primary School and then Greenford High School, duly leaving the latter in the summer of 2018 with four A*s and three As in his GCSEs.

The footballer’s teachers, at the time, described him as ‘the humble boy who achieved his dreams as well as a first-class education’. 

The devout Christian started his day with a prayer, which read: ‘Heavenly Father, you have given this new day to me, help me to make it one that pleases you by doing my best in everything. Amen.’

His head teacher Caroline Chamberlain told The Times he was an ‘all rounder’ and a ‘really lovely, conscientious, hardworking boy.’

After leaving school he continued to climb the ranks at Arsenal’s academy and broke into the first team during the 2019 / 2020 campaign. 

The following year he started to play more regularly for the Gunners, scoring five goals and getting three assists in 32 appearances.  

After heartbreak at Euro 2020,he had a very impressive domestic season with Arsenal, bagging 11 goals and seven assists across the year (Pictured: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal FC)

On way he wanted to play for England ahead of Nigeria, he said: ‘My whole family has been in England like forever. When I grew up all my documents stated that I am English, hopefully Nigerian people will understand’

He copped the club’s player of the season award and was rightly called up to play for England at the Euros. 

Saka said there was never any doubt he would choose England over his parents’ native Nigeria.

His debut for England came the year before, but Euro 2020 was his first major tournament for his country.  

In his first game in the competition, he impressed fans and commentators with his man of the match performance against Czech Republic.

After that stunning display, manager Gareth Southgate chose Saka to start ahead of household names such Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden. 

He started in some the country’s biggest games against Germany in the last 16, Denmark in the Semi Final and was substituted on in the final against Italy

England beat Czech Republic 1-0 in their final group game to progress to the knockout stages.   

Buyako bought the enormous house in leafy Hertfordshire in November 2019 for £2.3 million – just as he turned 18

Bukayo, who had been given his first professional contract by Arsenal at 17, is thought to have moved his parents and siblings in with him soon after

The house came complete with spa and walk-in wardrobes but he wanted to personalise it and workmen have been upgrading it regularly ever since

The exact details of the upgrade have not been revealed but it’s understood the renovations have been extensive. A team of workmen were even working in the grounds today to further modernise the property, which dwarfs its neighbours

He said recently: ‘My whole family has been in England like forever. When I grew up all my documents stated that I am English, hopefully Nigerian people will understand’.

However, his penalty miss in the shootout against Italy ultimately cost England the cup, and the ugly racist abuse he suffered afterwards overshadowed a remarkable tournament for him and England. 

Nonetheless the youngster bounced back the following year with a very impressive domestic season with Arsenal, bagging 11 goals and seven assists. 

In his personal life it was reported by MailOnline in June 2021 that he had swapped his modest two-bed family home he grew up in for a £2.3m luxury pad with his proud parents. 

Just as he turned 18 he copped the £2.3million mansion in leafy Hertfordshire in November 2019 and was thought to have moved in with his parents and siblings soon after. 

The house came complete with spa and walk-in wardrobes but he wanted to personalise it and workmen have been upgrading it regularly ever since.

The kitchen-diner looks out to the back garden of the property through huge sliding glass doors

Following his breakthrough into the first team at Arsenal, he quietly upgraded by buying a six-bedroomed contemporary mansion (pictured – an artist’s impression of the building) with sprawling grounds

The stunning kitchen includes a breakfast bar and island hob, with separate ovens, hanging lights and and a seating area 

The exact details of the upgrade have not been revealed but it’s understood the renovations have been extensive.

A team of workmen were even working in the grounds today to further modernise the property, which dwarfs its neighbours.

Saka is in a relationship with his girlfriend Tolami Benson, 22, who is a year older than the football star.

The 19 year old grew up in modest circumstances just five miles from Wembley where he lived with his parents and siblings

Saka is in a relationship with his girlfriend Tolami Benson, 22, who is a year older than the football star

Ms Benson has 6,000 followers on the platform and is spotted on holiday in the sun or dining with friends

Ms Benson has more than 6,000 followers on the platform and is spotted on holiday in the sun or dining with friends. 

The pair have reportedly been dating since late 2020 and have kept their relationship secret, with neither one of them following the other on Instagram.

Although the two have not confirmed their relationship in public, fans said the two were going out after they individually posted photos of each other on a yacht in Dubai. 

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