Arsenal legend Ian Wright ‘very disappointed’ with Rio Ferdinand over ‘clickbait’ Bukayo Saka remark

'I’d probably be a bit p***ed off with Rio...'

Arsenal legend Ian Wright ‘very disappointed’ with Rio Ferdinand over ‘clickbait’ Bukayo Saka remark
Arsenal star Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka has netted in his last five Premier League games for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Ian Wright says he was ‘very disappointed’ to hear Rio Ferdinand’s recent suggestion that Bukayo Saka is not yet a ‘world-class’ player and believes the Arsenal winger has every right to be ‘p***ed off’ with the comments.

Saka, 22, has enjoyed another outstanding individual campaign for Arsenal, racking up 16 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, with the club battling for silverware in the Premier League and the Champions League this term.

However, legendary ex-Manchester United defender Ferdinand dragged Saka’s name into a debate over his ‘world-class’ credentials earlier this month, insisting the England international was not yet deserving of that tag.

Ferdinand did, though, argue that Phil Foden could be considered ‘world-class’, despite the Manchester City attacker boasting similar stats to Saka with 17 goals and ten assists to his name this season.

Unsurprisingly, Ferdinand’s remark sparked a ferocious backlash from Arsenal supporters and Saka hit back with a superb strike in the side’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle last weekend.

Saka’s second-half effort meant he became the first English player to score in five consecutive Premier League games for the Gunners since club legend Wright back in 1994.

Reacting to Saka’s achievement on the Wrighty’s House podcast, a delighted Wright said: ‘I just want him to continue to do it, just keep going because that’s what it is about. I got a really nice message from him about how pleased he is and I feel the same.

Ian Wright and Rio Ferdinand
Wright was ‘very disappointed’ with Ferdinand’s comments about the Arsenal forward (Picture: Getty)

‘I remember when I used to talk about him as a generational talent and people would laugh at me and say this stuff, but for him to carry on and do keep doing what he’s doing at his age, getting to the levels and giving me love back for the recognition, it just makes me feel really good. It really, really does.

‘I’ve said before that if we are going on to do anything, Bukayo Saka is going to be one of the main cogs of any wheel where Arsenal gets success.

‘I’m just so pleased it’s happening for him and he’s so grounded. Take that and he’ll move on again, just like the whole team.’

Ian Wright and Bukayo Saka
Arsenal legend Wright has been delighted with Saka’s recent form (Picture: Getty)

Wright believes Ferdinand may have made the comments to get ‘clicks’ without considering the repercussions for a young player like Saka.

‘You know the whole thing about it, I know Rio said it, it feels very clickbait-y, very banal kind of conversation. It’s so subjective,’ the former Arsenal and England striker added.

‘It’s just one of those that it’s just about clicks in saying something like that because I can’t imagine what Bukayo would have gone through, because let me tell you something for a fact that will happen: he will have seen it, he will have heard it and they will have had to deal with it.’

According to Wright, Saka would be well within his rights to feel ‘p***ed off’ with Ferdinand for needlessly dragging him into a conversation that ‘doesn’t help at all’ in his development as a player.

‘If I’m him, I’m probably a little bit p***ed off about that. And I’d probably be a bit p***ed off with Rio about it for bringing it up like it is because it’s narrative of everything, especially when you listen to TNT,’ Wright went on.

‘And so, it’s something now, I’d be very interested to see his relationship going on with Rio, who for me, let’s face it, one of the most decorated players, to come with that kind of conversation does not help. It doesn’t help at all.

‘In that particular situation, I was very disappointed with that because it’s not needed.’

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