Micah Richards compares a current Arsenal star to Invincibles legend Robert Pires… hailing the forward’s ability to ‘drop the shoulder and bend it into the far corner’ as he looks to fire the Gunners to a first title in 19 years
Micah Richards has given a current Arsenal star a huge boost by comparing them to one of the club’s all-time legends Robert Pires.
The former defender piled on the praise for the Arsenal talisman’s efforts this season, hailing his dribbling skills and shooting ability as the Gunners look to end their 19-year Premier League title drought this campaign.
Pires was one of Arsenal’s most important players in the 2003-04 season which saw the Gunners secure the title without losing a single match, which is perhaps why Richards sees similarities between the Frenchman and Bukayo Saka.
Pires scored 14 goals and assisted nine times that year, while Saka has been equally prolific with 13 goals and 10 assists in the league.
In a Match of the Day podcast, Richards ranked the former Gunners winger as the seventh best French player in Premier League history, with team-mates Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira coming in at numbers one and two, respectively.
Micah Richards drew comparisons between one of the Gunners’ current stars and Robert Pires
French forward Pires was one of the Gunners’ most important players in his six-year stay at the club
‘Robert Pires…’ began Gary Lineker, as he, Richards and Alan Shearer discussed the division’s great French stars.
‘Now we’re cooking! He reminds me of (Bukayo) Saka,’ said Richards.
‘The way he… On the other side, the way you think he’s not going to beat you and then he just drops the shoulder and then bends it into the far corner.’
Saka became the first player this season to reach double figures for goals and assists at the weekend with a brace and an assist against Crystal Palace in Arsenal’s 4-1 win on Sunday.
He is also his side’s joint-top goal scorer with Gabriel Martinelli, with 13 for the season in all competitions as he begins to assert himself as one of his country’s leading right-wingers.
Bukayo Saka has been the Gunners’ stand-out performer in 2022-23, reaching double figures for both goals and assists
The Gunners are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table as they bid to end their title drought
Pires was primarily a left-winger, with former Arsenal interim coach Freddie Ljungberg deployed on the right to equally devastating impact.
However, the similarities in their game are evidently there for Richards, with both being left-footers with an eye for goal.
Saka has been one of the key performers for Mikel Arteta’s side, who site five points clear at the top of the table.
And the England forward has hardly missed a game for his side in all competitions, playing 38 games, featuring for a total of 2,963 minutes meaning that he plays on average 77 minutes-per-game.
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