A Letter to Bukayo
By Rob Worthington (Deputy Editor)
What an outstanding individual you are.
Just one year older than me yet you conduct yourself with the maturity of a fully grown man.
A blend of that maturity alongside your supreme confidence has got you to where you are today. Your willingness to take that penalty last night typified you as a player and as a person.
One word springs to mind when I think about you, Bukayo - fearless. It’s been fantastic to see a whole country witness the special nature of your fearlessness. Finally, people are beginning to realise just why we as Arsenal fans think you are so unique.
I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow you must be feeling right now. You don’t need to feel that, because last night’s loss was not your fault. However, it’s only natural. There was so much pressure on your young shoulders and unfortunately things didn’t quite go your way.
Thankfully, at 19-years-old, you’ve got plenty of time ahead of you to make up for last night’s missed penalty. You are still just at the beginning of your career and while there could be more lows to come, there’ll doubtless be many highs on their way towards you too.
We as Arsenal fans are so proud of you, Bukayo. You’ve brought us so much joy over the course of the last few weeks. Collecting the Man of the Match award after a stellar performance against the Czechs, causing the Germans all sorts of problems in the Round of 16 and finally starring against Denmark in the semi-final. On many occasions, I have sat in front of my TV counting my lucky stars that you’re our player.
You’re going to bring us so much joy in the future both as an Arsenal player and as an England player. Last night marked the first major hiccup in your career and it’ll feel like a setback. Regardless, we know that you are going to channel the pain associated with that penalty miss and grow from it.
We’re all here for you and we’ll carry on loving you. Nothing will change that.
Now, it’s time for you to rest and recharge those batteries which must be feeling pretty drained right now. Off the back of a season where you’ve carried Arsenal in an attacking sense as a teenager and gone on to play a key role in an international tournament, those legs must be feeling pretty heavy.
So, rest. Take all the time that you need and come back stronger next season. We can’t wait to see you at the Emirates again.
Thank you for continuing to make us proud every single day.