I knew Bukayo Saka was special – Sheffield Wednesday youngster recalls time with Arsenal starlet

Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Dawodu says that he knew early on that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka was going to be a special player.
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The young Owls full back, who has spent the last couple of months on a very successful loan spell with Stalybridge Celtic, came through the same academy as the England international, playing with him despite being a year older due to the fact that Saka was playing a year above his age group.

Speaking to the Tameside Correspondent recently, Dawodu said, “Bukayo was a year below me but played up a year, so I knew him well.

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“I knew he was special, and he would definitely play first-team football, but not as soon as he did. It was the same playing for England. I didn’t expect that to happen so quickly and for him to appear in the Euros.”

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Now, with his former teammate strutting his stuff at the Emirates Stadium, Dawodu will keen to progress at Wednesday if he’s given the opportunity – he’s waited a long time as he climbed up through the ranks before forming part of their preseason squad this season.

He went on to say, “I was nervous moving away from home aged 16. I spent three years in digs, but luckily they were good ones… The challenge has been to break into the first-team which I have been unable to do which has been disappointing.

“Until this season, they had been in the Championship and had some very good players. And even in League One they still have quality.”

Sheffield Wednesday's Josh Dawodu played with Bukayo Saka at Arsenal's academy.Sheffield Wednesday's Josh Dawodu played with Bukayo Saka at Arsenal's academy.
Sheffield Wednesday's Josh Dawodu played with Bukayo Saka at Arsenal's academy.
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The 21-year-old right-back will see his current Wednesday contract expire at the end of the season, and at this point in time there are no guarantees about what lies ahead for him – whether that’s at Hillsborough or elsewhere.

His loan period with Celtic was set to come to an end this month, and while the Northern Premier League outfit will have been keen to keep him longer, it may be that the plan is to try and send him out on loan to a club further up the English football pyramid in order to aid his development further.