What has made Saka a better wide player? Southgate reveals

FOOTBALL What has made Saka a better wide player? Southgate reveals

Kiplagat Sang • 10:25 - 27.03.2023

The youngster continued with an impressive performance for England on Sunday.

After Bukayo Saka’s sensational performance for England against Ukraine in the Euro 2024 qualifier, Gareth Southgate has picked out what has helped the Arsenal star improve.

The Gunners’ forward provided an assist for Harry Kane to score the opener before he found the back of the net in a brilliant version to give the Three Lions a 2-0 win at Wembley.

His performance saw him named Man of the Match and his national team boss has hailed the forward and discussed why he has become phenomenal.

"His hunger and his humility is what has got him on a good path. He has all the attributes to continue to improve and learn because that's how he's wired," Southgate said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"I don't see that changing with how he is and his family are. He's got great support around him, and all of those things are important for a young player.

Saka has scored 12 goals and provided 10 assists for Arsenal in the Premier League as he also continues to stamp his authority on Southgate’s team.

"I just think when he's in front of goal now, he plays with real belief," added Southgate.

"That's evident with his club and in his games with us. You're expecting him to score now when he goes through, and that's been a mentality shift as much as it's anything technical because he has always had the technique.

"I think he knows that to be a really top wide player, you need the numbers for goals and assists, and without a doubt he has delivered that all season."

The goal was his eighth for the Three Lions, and this means only Dixie Dean (16), Jimmy Greaves (16), Wayne Rooney (12), and Michael Owen (10) have scored more for England at his current age.

Although Southgate is impressed with Saka, he does not want to rank the 21-year-old in his position in the world.

"I'm not going to get drawn into where he fits in world football because that puts me in danger of doing all the things we shouldn't be doing with him," he concluded.

"But he is progressing brilliantly, he is a joy to work with, and we should leave it at that."