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How Bukayo Saka can prove Rio Ferdinand wrong and show he is truly 'world-class'

World-class or not, there is no denying that Bukayo Saka is a man in form right now.

The Arsenal winger scored twice in Saturday’s 5-0 win at Burnley to make it six goals in his last four games.

Burnley could not live with him and, in fairness, few sides can when he is playing like this.

Saka has sparked Arsenal’s title charge into life and now he will look to lead their bid to win the Champions League, too.

Mikel Arteta’s side head to Porto for the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday night and, on current form, will be confident of making the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

If Arsenal are to do that, Saka will be key and the stage is set for him to show how he is one of the best players in the world.

Even with 15 goals and 12 assists in 32 games this season, Saka still has his doubters and Rio Ferdinand sparked a debate last week when he said the 22-year-old is not world-class.

Ferdinand’s argument was that Saka has not performed at the top level - “where the medals are handed out” - and that is why he is behind someone like Phil Foden.

Whether you agree with that or not, Saka now has a chance to deliver for Arsenal when it matters most.

Rio Ferdinand has caused a stir by claiming that Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka is not yet ‘world-class’ (Getty Images)
Rio Ferdinand has caused a stir by claiming that Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka is not yet ‘world-class’ (Getty Images)

The title race looks set to be a three-way battle that will go down to the wire, while the Gunners should also be targeting the Champions League given the way many of Europe’s top clubs are struggling.

Saka has the tools to ensure that Arsenal are fighting for both trophies and few can match his level right now.

Since the start of last season he has been involved in 44 Premier League goals, which is a tally only bettered by Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah.

Saka has had to cope with teams doubling up and targeting him, but his game is becoming more rounded.

His opening goal at Turf Moor on Saturday was a penalty, but his second was an emphatic finish into the top corner with his right foot.

It makes the England star one of just five players to score at least seven Premier League goals with both feet since the start of last season.

The stage is set for Saka to show that he is one of the best players in the world

“We try to make our players unpredictable,” said Arteta. “I’m sure that opponents are looking at us a lot and we have to find ways to create problems.

“He (Saka) has got this ability and he trains a lot on many different situations when he is in and around the box. Today he had two brilliant finishes again.”

After a run of one goal in 11 League games, Saka is back to his best at just the right time.