Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang explains the reason behind Bukayo Saka’s nickname

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Bukayo Saka the nickname 'Little Chilli'
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Bukayo Saka the nickname ‘Little Chilli’ (Picture: Getty / Sky Sports)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang believes Bukayo Saka merits the nickname ‘Little Chilli’ because of his power and explosive energy.

The 18-year-old’s emergence has represented one of the most uplifting aspects of a turbulent season for an Arsenal side which harbours only remote hopes of qualifying for Europe next term.

The north London club changed managers in mid-season, replacing the hapless Unai Emery with former club captain Mikel Arteta. Pep Guardiola’s former assistant has helped steady the ship and is set to build a new-look team around an exciting group of young players.

Saka is, perhaps, the brightest talent of all and recently committed his long-term future to the club by signing a contract extension.

The teenager has impressed in a number of different positions but has started in a more attacking role since the return to fitness of Kieran Tierney.

He scored his first ever Premier League goal in last weekend’s victory at Wolves and registered his 12th assist of the campaign against Leicester in midweek by teeing up Aubameyang.

The Gabon international believes his team-mate is destined for the very top and commended him for his humble nature and willingness to learn from the club’s senior pros.

Asked to elaborate on the nickname he bestowed on Saka, Aubameyang told Sky Sports: ‘I call him this (Little Chilli) but in French so it is ‘Petit Piment’.

‘It’s because he is like a little chilli, so much energy, so much power and is quite small so it’s funny.’

‘Oh for sure he is one of the best, for sure,’ added the Arsenal captain when asked if Saka was one of the most talented young players he has shared a dressing room with.

‘What I like about him is he is always listening to advice from us the experienced players. I really like it and he is really humble, he wants always to go forwards and learn more and try to improve his game so definitely he is one of the best.

‘Of course, I think he’s 18 so he has a lot of time but as I said to him the most important thing is to enjoy because at this age to be at this club is really special and he just has to continue like this to keep improving and I am sure he will go to the top straight to the top.’

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