Newcastle United defender Dan Burn has named Arsenal star Bukayo Saka as his toughest opponent.

The Hale End academy graduate has established himself as one of Europe’s best wingers despite still being only 22 years old.

Saka has enjoyed a stellar 2023/24 campaign thus far, already notching 19 direct goal contributions across all competitions this term. Those numbers read even more impressive when you consider that he is constantly facing double teams out wide, with opposition sides sometimes even putting three players on him in an attempt to nullify his threat in the final third.

Now, Newcastle left-back Burn has heaped praise on the England international, hailing the youngster’s consistency. When asked who the most difficult player he has faced during his time in the Premier League, the 31-year-old told Ben Foster’s Fozcast: “Saka, always.

“He’s very, very good. Because now it’s constant, you play against inverted wingers.

“So 20 years ago, you’d play against a right footer [at left-back], show him that side and cross it, but it’s not the end of the world. Whereas now you’re playing against wingers who, if you send them inside, they’ll come inside, they’ll shoot.

“You’re like, ‘Right, I’ll cover that’, then they take it down the line and cross it anyway. I think Saka’s up there for me as the most consistent.”

The Arsenal winger will be hoping to live up to that praise this weekend when the north Londoners welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Mikel Arteta’s side go into this weekend’s fixtures sitting second in the league table, one point behind league-leaders Liverpool.