Southgate Explains Why He Omitted Bukayo Saka From England Called Up
Eligible Nigerian player, Bukayo Saka’s omission from the latest England squad list announced on Tuesday by the Three Lions’ manager, Gareth Southgate has generated a lot of debate, with non-Nigerian fans and pundits alike questioning the decision of Gareth Southgate to snub the versatile left-sided player.
There is no recognized left-back in the Three Lions squad, with Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw not available for selection due to injury while Danny Rose has been snubbed as a result of a loss of form.
Southgate explained that Saka was not called up because he is more of an attack-minded player than a defender, adding that the Hale End Academy product is in line to be named to the England U21 team for the Euro qualifiers next month.
“He’s obviously with the Under-21s this time and I feel he’s more of an attacking player. I know he’s played at left-back and he’s given good contributions there in an attacking sense certainly,” Southgate was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
“At the moment left wing-back, left side higher up the pitch, I know he’s played in midfield and on the right as well but that they would be his better positions. He’s a very exciting player.
“It is still early for him but he’s a player we like and we’re monitoring very closely. I think Phil, in particular, has been patient for his opportunity.
“We’ve taken our time with that but yeah Saka had a very good season with Arsenal, not in the team at the very end but really good season of progress and he’s a player (we’re) watching very closely.”
The 18-year-old Saka had a great season for Arsenal and his four goals and twelve assists in 38 appearances back this up.