Gary Lineker hails Arsenal star as 'footballer of the year' after Palace win

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka should win the player of the season award – especially after his performance against Crystal Palace, says Gary Lineker.

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The winger set up Gabriel Martinelli for Arsenal’s opener against Palace on Sunday, before scoring two himself either side of Granit Xhaka’s goal.

The 4-1 win at the Emirates has moved the Gunners eight points clear at the top of the table going into the international break, but Manchester City do have a game in hand over their title rivals.

Saka has been one of Arsenal’s key players this season, alongside the likes of Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey, and is one of the top nominees for the various player of the season and young player of the season awards.

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland remains the favourite for both prizes, no surprise given that the striker has scored 28 goals in just 26 Premier League games so far, with 42 in 37 across all competitions.

Odegaard, City attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford are also in the running.

But for Lineker, there is only one winner, with the England legend and Match of the Day host tweeting: ‘Two goals and an assist for the irrepressible Bukayo Saka as Arsenal march on.

PFA Player of the Year 2022/23 odds

Erling Haaland – 2/5

Martin Odegaard – 9/2

Bukayo Saka – 7/1

Marcus Rashford – 15/2

Kevin De Bruyne – 20/1

Odds courtesy of SkyBet

PFA Young Player of the Year 2022/23 odds

Erling Haaland – 4/9

Bukayo Saka – 2/1

Gabriel Martinelli – 7/1

William Saliba – 10/1

Alejandro Garnacho – 33/1

Odds courtesy of SkyBet

‘What a player, who, if we voted tomorrow, would get my vote for footballer of the year (yes, as a member of the Football Writers’ Association I do get a vote).’

The 21-year-old has scored 12 and assisted 10 in 28 league games so far this season, as Mikel Arteta’s side look to end the club’s 19-year wait for a Premier League title.

It’s been a fantastic season for Saka, who back in September was named England Player of the Year and will no doubt continue to play a huge role for his country as qualifying for Euro 2024 begins this week.

Once the international break is over, Saka will be back in action for Arsenal when they host Leeds on 1 April.

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