Arsenal's Bukayo Saka's GCSE results prove he's a bright talent on and off the pitch
Saka received his GCSE results from Greenford High School in Ealing, West London, in the summer of 2018, just six months before he made his Arsenal debut aged 17
Bukayo Saka has emerged as an important player for England at the World Cup - and it turns out he's just as impressive in the classroom.
The 21-year-old is enjoying a strong tournament out in Qatar with three goals to his name following his strike against Senegal on Sunday. It comes only four years after he made his first-team debut for Arsenal, where he has flourished to become one of the Gunners' most integral players.
Saka's club form made him a shoe-in for the England squad again - following his call-up for Euro 2020.
And it turns out the winger is equally impressive off the field as he is on it, though Saka's swift rise has come as no surprise to his former teachers at Greenford High School in Ealing, West London.
“In the last year of doing GCSEs, Bukayo was out of school with Arsenal quite a bit, but he was brilliant,” Mark Harvey, his former PE teacher, told the Times. “He knuckled down, got really good grades and came out with flying colours. In terms of a sportsman: superb. In terms of a student: role model.”
Saka only completed his GCSE's in 2018, achieving four A*s and three As, just six months before his Arsenal debut as a substitute in the Europa League tie with Vorskla Poltava.
But the youngster admitted even then he wasn't sure if he would get to realise his dream.
He told the official Arsenal website : “I just enjoyed playing, but I don't think I ever really thought I was going to make it to the first team until I actually signed my first professional contract when I turned 17.
“You go through the youth teams, year by year, and you see all these great players around you - some of them could be the best in the year - and slowly they are all let go, to other clubs or even stopping completely," he added.
“So you could never be sure that you would make it, but what I said to myself is that I would always give my best in every single session. I always wanted to learn to get better, I always watched a lot of football to see how I could improve.
“We would look at each other and wonder who it would be. I was always determined for it to be me, and so I wanted to do whatever it took to achieve that.”