Tuesday, February 27News That Matters

Southgate names the England player he’d be happy for his daughter to date

Gareth Southgate has named Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka as the member of his England squad he’d be happy for his daughter to bring home.

The Arsenal winger has enjoyed a stratospheric rise over the course of the past two seasons, cementing his place as and Arsenal and England regular.

Saka handled the heartbreak of missing the decisive penalty in last summer’s Euro 2020 final against Italy with impressive dignity, even in the face of the abuse he suffered.

The 20-year-old recovered from that blow to deliver his most productive campaign in an Arsenal shirt and is a rumoured target of both Man City and Liverpool.

Arsenal remain confident they will tie their academy graduate to a new long-term contract with the promise of a huge wage increase but Saka’s focus remains on finishing his season on a high with England.

Asked if he was surprise by the way in which Saka has dealt with triumph and adversity, Southgate said: ‘I don’t know if it’s a surprise, because of how he is. He’s got brilliant support and a great family.

‘His value have been brilliant with him and here, he’s felt the love of the players and staff immediately.

‘That will have helped, in the immediate aftermath for him. He’s a fantastic talent. He’s one that’s possibly less appreciated because his profile isn’t quite the same as some of our other attacking players.

‘He just quietly goes about his job, but I think you see the consistency of his performances and quality of his play.

‘He scores goals, he makes goals and defends for the team. He’s a fabulous kid. If your daughter brings Bukayo home you’d be more than happy.’

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