Arsenal star Saka helps fund life-changing surgery for 120 children in Nigeria

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Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka has helped fund 120 life-changing operations for children in Nigeria.

Saka, 21, is preparing to take part in his first World Cup after earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad – but that hasn’t distracted him from matters elsewhere.

In co-operation with youth charity BigShoe, the winger played a crucial role in medical procedures for children of Kano that occurred last month.

Saka’s actions come as a response to issues surrounding diseases like inguinal hernias or brain tumours in Nigeria.

Speaking on the matter, the 21-year-old said: ‘I feel blessed to be in a position where I can contribute to making the children’s lives easier and better through these surgeries.

‘I still feel very connected to Nigeria. For me, it is very important to use my abilities to have a positive impact where I can and I have to say a big thank you to the whole BigShoe team for making this possible.

‘For me it is important that every child has the same opportunity to achieve their dreams.

‘If I can do anything to help then I really want to do this, it was very important to me. It makes me happy when I can see the kids happy and their parents happy.

‘I want to do more and more and help as many children as I can.’

The operations took place in mid-October and were a success, thanks to a team of five doctors who treated and looked after the children.

Kano is Nigeria’s second biggest city and it’s an issue that effects a lot of children in the area.

The Arsenal star isn’t the only player to have teamed up with BigShoe in recent months – with Real Madrid’s Antonio Rudiger agreeing to donate all of his World Cup earnings to children in Sierra Leone.

The Madrid defender – who set up The Antonio Rudiger Foundation For Sierra Leone in January – has helped fund procedures for underprivileged children in the country for a long time.

With the Word Cup looming, Rudiger says his contributions to BigShoe are a ‘matter of honour’ and that he would ‘like to implement many more projects in Sierra Leone’.

Rudiger’s actions come as a response to the congenital clubfoot issue in the country. It’s an issue that affects a lot of children throughout the entirety of their life.

The ex-Chelsea defender explained: ‘It hurts to see the circumstances in which Sierra Leonean children grow up.

‘During surgery, the misalignment is corrected before patients can finally walk and participate in social life, after several months of follow-up treatment.

‘I am grateful for these opportunities and I greatly appreciate the privileged position I find myself in.’

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