Arsenal's Bukayo Saka has created as many chances as Cristiano Ronaldo this season

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka

Arsenal slipping to a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool on Saturday was another low point for the club this season.

The team have now lost 12 league games this term, and are only inside the top half on goal difference.

In fairness, they were without several players for this particular game. David Luiz, Granit Xhaka and Emile Smith Rowe were all missing from the squad due to injury.

Yet it was the absence of another player which was felt more than anyone else's - Bukayo Saka.

The teenager has been a rare bright spark for the Gunners this season, and has continued to progress throughout the campaign.

GIVEMESPORT's Sam Brookes takes a detailed look at how Saka has stepped up and taken responsibility over the past year...

The stat that is comparable to Ronaldo

How does Saka compare to Ronaldo? Yes, that's right, he really can be compared to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

At least, that is, in one category - key passes.

According to WhoScored, Saka has made 29 key passes in 25 Premier League appearances this year. Over in Serie A, Ronaldo has also completed 29 key passes for Juventus in the same number of games.

Ronaldo has played 27 more minutes in the league than Saka, meaning that the Arsenal man has actually created more chances per minute than Ronaldo in 2020/21.

What else can Saka do?

Having just been informed that Saka has matched one of the greatest footballers of all time in terms of creating chances this season, you may be wondering if he is just a one-trick pony.

Not at all.

The 19-year-old has completed 37 successful dribbles in the league this season - no other Arsenal player has managed more than 22.

That combination of dribbling ability and creativity could have been a useful outlet to help Arsenal cause some problems for Liverpool on the counter-attack.

Without him, the Reds were able to control proceedings from the outset and Arsenal barely created a coherent offensive move as they were continually pinned back. 

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In which season did Arsenal wear this kit?

Is Saka Arsenal's most important player?

It is hard to argue that he isn't. 

According to Transfermarkt, he has operated on both flanks, slotted into central midfield and filled in at left-back this season. His versatility is scarcely believable.

His best position seems to be playing on the wing, as that is where he has predominantly featured in the second half of the campaign. How Arsenal could have done with him there on the weekend.

Instead, Trent Alexander-Arnold was allowed to run riot down Arsenal's left. The 22-year-old assisted the first goal and was involved in the build-up for Liverpool's third. 

His charges upfield were met with very little resistance from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It is hard to imagine that would have been the case if Saka had been present.

Reports have emerged suggesting that Arsenal may have to consider selling Saka this summer so that they can go after their own transfer targets. 

However, given Saka's versatility, ability to carry the ball up the pitch and habit of picking the right pass at the right time, this would be a big mistake.

Arsenal need to build their future around Saka. Right now, they do not have a more important player in their ranks.

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