Is Arsenal’s Saka a shoo-in for Southgate’s European Championship squad?

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka came off the bench in the 2-0 loss to Belgium last night, and his performance didn’t go unnoticed by the England boss Gareth Southgate.

The youngster came off the bench with his side already 2-0 down, and went onto impress despite not managing to turn the score around.

Saka created the joint-most chances in the match, despite featuring for just over half of the encounter.

The 19 year-old wasn’t alone in coming in for praise by the England boss however, but is definitely within a strong shout of making the final squad for the European Championships next summer.

‘I’m so impressed with the performance of the players,’ said the England boss after the final whistle (via the Metro).

‘We’ve learned a lot about a lot of players, not only their ability, but their mentality.

‘There were several players who it’s the very early stages of their international careers, who were excellent.

‘Jack [Grealish] is the obvious one, his performance was outstanding, but I also thought Bukayo as well.

‘Coming into a game like that as a very young player, against an experienced player like [Thomas] Meunier.

‘He had an excellent game on the left when he came into it.

‘Tyrone [Mings] as well, that’s a level up from the games he’s been in with us before.

‘But also some other experienced players who played very well.

‘So I take a lot of positives from it, although obviously we don’t want to lose football matches.’

Last night’s appearance was Saka’s first competitive outing for the Three Lions, but he also impressed in the friendly wins over both Wales and the Republic of Ireland, and as the season draws on, he will surely continue to feature for Southgate’s side.

Saka is still less very much in the early stages of his career, but is already showing his worth to both club and country, and while the bookmakers may not make him odds-on to make the tournament, I would be very shocked if he was fit and was to be overlooked.

Do you expect Saka to be on the plane next summer?

Patrick

Tags Bukayo Saka England

5 Comments

  1. Lenohappy says:

    If Saka keeps playing the way he’s been playing, he’s going to be world class in 2 to 3 years, the boy has lots of potential, he can dribble he can shoot and he can pass. I just hope Arteta start using him as a winger because he will definitely improve our attack.

  2. Sean M says:

    He was great last night. It showed that we’d have more joy if he were able to combine with a trickier, more creative player like Grealish e.g. Martinelli, Willock

  3. Sean Williams says:

    Respect. Respect for this super young man. Besides all his skills he seems to have a lovely ingredient in his character….humility. I wish Grealish would have used him a bit more, when he was on his runs, but no big complaints because Grealish looks something special too. Saka will become England’s Full Back /Wing Back for years.

    Why does Southgate play Eric Dyer…he is so slooooow.

  4. Wyoming says:

    In recent years Arsenal has had several young players debut for England at a very young age. Walcott Wilshire Gibbs Chambers Chamberlain . None of these players became established. Their form tailed off. Now it’s Niles and Saka. I can’t help think that elevation to the National team at a young age has not benefited these players quite the opposite in fact.

  5. Grandad says:

    Given the dearth of quality left footed LBs or LWBs available to Southgate , I am pretty confident Saka will make the squad for the Euros. To fit in the hugely impressive Grealish, Southgate needs to switch to a 4-2-3-1 system with the Aston Villa man playing in the hole behind Kane, and with Sterling and Rachford on the wings.This would give England a formidable look going forward , but still leaves concerns in central midfield and in particular at Centre Back where Walker and Dier are weak defensively.

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