England manager Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka following England’s 4-0 thrashing of Iceland.
The young Gunners ace played the full 90 minutes as the Three Lions completed their UEFA Nations League group with a thumping of their Euro 2016 rivals.
Southgate was extremely complimentary of the 19-year-old as he highlighted his displays throughout the November international break.
He said: “To see Bukayo again was a real plus. I think he has really had three excellent performances this week, for someone so young especially. It gives us good balance to have an attack-minded player in that position, it is really helpful.” (via Evening Standard)
Should Saka start against Leeds United this weekend?
Among Saka’s many traits, his attacking prowess is the best and could even make him a shoo-in to fill the back-up left wing-back role in the England squad for next summer’s Euros, behind Ben Chilwell.
Against the Republic of Ireland, Saka secured the man of the match award as he created three chances with England comfortable seeing off their arch-nemesis 3-0. His best moment proved to be his winning of the penalty midway through the second-half as he jigged his way into the box, only to be brought down by Cyrus Christie.
He was in similarly great form against Belgium as the youngster ended the night with the joint-most chances created despite having come on as a first-half substitute.
Despite consistently featuring out on the left of defence, Saka’s versatility is another reason why he is likely to feature in next summer’s Euros squad. This season alone, the £36m-rated ace has played in four different positions for the Gunners across all competitions.
He was roundly praised by the former Middlesbrough boss for his ability to play many different positions, showing how highly he ranks in the mind of the England boss.
Whilst Saka is probably a better player in the final third than Chilwell, his tender years and the fact he’s not an out-and-out defender means he’ll most likely be a back-up at next summer’s Euros. That is still a phenomenal feat for a player who is yet to reach 20 years of age.