Bukayo Saka wins Young Player of the Year + See Davido’s Performance at the PFA Awards
Nigerian-born Arsenal and England winger Bukayo Saka has been named the 2023 PFA Young Player of the Year. The winger, who bagged 14 goals and 11 assists last season, beat off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, Arsenal teammate Gabriel Martinelli, Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey, Chelsea’s (formerly of Brighton) Moises Caicedo, and Brighton’s Evan Ferguson.
Saka said, “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’ve watched the Premier League since I knew I could. Seeing the players that have won the award in the past and the careers they’ve gone on to have, it’s a real honour to be a part of that list now. I’m so happy, and it’s an unbelievable trophy as well. Every time I look at it, I smile. The success is down to a lot of things. I’ve got to thank my coach and my teammates because football is a team sport. With their help, I was able to achieve what I achieved and, of course, this trophy. Last year was a special year for us in terms of how we progressed, both individually and collectively, and hopefully now I can kick on.”
Former Middlesbrough striker and new Ajax player Chuba Akpom is another player of Nigerian descent who won an award in Tuesday night’s awards ceremony. Akpom was named the inaugural winner of the PFA Championship Players’ Player of the Year Award.
The 27-year-old striker, who is eligible to play for the Super Eagles, scored 28 goals in just 40 appearances to lead the EFL goalscoring chart in their quest for the Championship playoffs.
Akpom pipped fellow player of Nigerian descent and new Bayern Leverkusen signing Nathan Tella, who scored 17 goals for Burnley.
Nigerian music star Davido was on hand to entertain the football stars and guests of the event, which took place at the Lowry Theatre in the UK.
He performed some of his hit songs, like “Champion Sound,” featuring Focalistic, and Unavailable,” at the interlude before the biggest awards of the night were announced.
— Professional Footballers’ Association (@PFA) August 29, 2023
Global superstar Davido performing unavailable at PFA’s stage in England, this makes him the first African artiste to hit the stage, a remarkable one for the culture . pic.twitter.com/PpJhu2xKbx
— OTUNBA (@ManLikeIcey) August 29, 2023
PFA Players’ Player of the Year (Male): Erling Haaland
PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year (Male): Bukayo Saka
PFA Players’ Player of the Year (Female): Rachel Daly
PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year (Female): Laura James
PFA Merit Award: Ian Wright
PFA Team of the Year: Aaron Ramsdale, John Stones, Ruben Dias, William Saliba, Kieran Trippier, Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, and Erling Haaland.
Photo Credit: The PFA