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England call-up boost to Saka’s confidence, says Arteta

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta, is happy that Bukayo Saka has been called up to the England national team for the first time, asserting it will fill him with more confidence going forward.

The 18-year-old was announced in the Three Lions squad that will face Wales and Belgium in October’s round of international fixtures.

He is joined by Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes, who were also called-up for the very first time.

Saka has been making headlines since he became a regular fixture in the Gunners line-up last season, where he made 39 competitive appearances, scoring four goals and providing 11 assists.

read also:Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Saka get England call-up

These led him to signing a new deal that keeps him tied at the Emirates Stadium until 2024.

Saka kicked off the new season providing the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal in the Community Shield which was crucial in seeing off Liverpool 6-5 on penalties.

He once again featured against the Reds at Anfield in the EFL Cup fourth round on Thursday, the Gunners winning 5-4 on penalties.

“I’m extremely happy with him – he totally deserves that chance. He’s a really humble boy who’s willing to learn every single day,” Arteta said on the club website.

“He works really hard and he has incredible talent. It’s a combination of everything you need to be successful and I think that call-up is going to fill him with confidence even more, and I’m really happy for him.

“That ability, versatility and unpredictability that he gives to the team is special. As well, the way he reads the different situations in areas that we want to provoke during games and then also the personality that he plays with.”

Saka is eligible to play for England by birth or Nigeria via his parents. The Nigeria Football Federation had interest in trying to lure him to become a member of the Super Eagles, but it did not yield a positive response.

Should Saka be capped against Belgium in the Nations League, he will follow in the steps of Chelsea duo Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, who were capped by England in 2019 and were also previously courted by Nigeria.

New Fifa rules can still allow Saka to switch nationalities even if capped in a competitive game as long as he does not have up to three caps, does not feature in an official competition like the World Cup or European Championships, and was less than 21 at the time he played for England.

The post England call-up boost to Saka’s confidence, says Arteta appeared first on Sporting Life.

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