Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has been voted England Player of the Year for 2022, fending off competition from Harry Kane and Declan Rice.
The 21-year-old has established himself as an integral player for club and country as he also picked up the Arsenal Player of the Year award for the second time in a row back in June courtesy of another stellar individual campaign which saw him rack up 12 goals and seven assists in 43 games.
Chipping in with five direct goal contributions in as many World Cup qualifiers for the Three Lions, Saka becomes the first Gunner to win the England best player accolade which is a testament to the great strides he has made over the last couple of seasons.
Saka was presented with the award in a surprise press conference and he went on to express his shock as well as delight to have been deemed worthy of such recognition.
“I did not expect this, honestly. I’m honoured,” the winger was quoted saying by talkSPORT.
“I’m so happy, I can’t put into words how happy I am. It’s really nice to be awarded this trophy, and that’s all I can really say!
“Playing for England is so special, there are so many kids who want to play football for teams and it’s really difficult, so to then get picked to play for your country, it’s another level of honour and pride in yourself.
“So I’m just really happy every time I get to come here, pull on the shirt and play at Wembley in front of all the fans.
“It’s a beautiful feeling.”
Currently on international duty, Saka will be looking to come up trumps for Gareth Southgate’s men when they face off against Italy in their penultimate UEFA Nations League fixture at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza later today.