Saka named in the England Under 21 squad for the first time

Bukayo Saka has been named in the England Under 21 squad for the first time. Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson have also been included in the squad.

The 2019/20 season was a breakout campaign for Saka. He scored four goals and provided eleven assists in 38 games for the Gunners in all competitions. No other Arsenal player provided more assists than the 18 year old last season. There was a lot of speculation that he would receive a call up to England’s senior squad but he did not make the cut. He has, however, progressed from the England Under 18 side to the Under 21s. 

England manager Gareth Southgate is keeping a close eye on Saka and believes he is an exciting talent. According to Football London, Southgate said the following when asked about leaving Saka out despite his impressive performances at left back for Arsenal:

“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.”

“I know he’s played in midfield & on the right as well – he’s a very exciting player. It’s still early for him but he’s a player we like & we are monitoring very closely. I think Phil Foden in particular has been patient for his opportunity & we’ve taken our time with that.”

“But, yes, Saka had a very good season with Arsenal, he was not in the team at the very end but had a really good season of progress and he’s a player we are watching very closely.”

Reiss Nelson has scored five goals in ten appearances for the England Under 21 side and will be looking to add to his tally. Eddie Nketiah returns to the squad after missing the team’s last qualifier against Albania in November due to injury. He has scored eight goals in eight appearances for the England Under 21s. 

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