Saka a jewel in England’s crown
LONDON. — Bukayo Saka’s development as a golden talent for Arsenal and England is moving at such a rapid rate that special moments no longer come as any surprise.
The 21-year-old confirmed his growing stature as a jewel in England’s crown by playing a key role in the space of three minutes to set up the 2-0 victory against Ukraine on Sunday that gave them maximum points from their first two Euro 2024 football qualifiers.
England had laboured for 37 minutes in the face of a well-organised Ukraine, with Saka the shining light and biggest hope of a breakthrough as he gave Everton left-back Vitalii Mykolenko a torrid time.
Saka duly delivered with an inviting cross that deflected to Harry Kane at the far post for his 55th goal for England, adding to the all-time record he set in the 2-1 opening qualifying win against Italy in Naples.
The high point of a game that was routine in its outcome, and efficient in its performance, came three minutes later as Saka once again illuminated the international stage.
He cut in off the right flank before curling a left-foot shot of quality and precision into the top corner, beyond the outstretched grasp of Ukraine keeper Anatoliy Trubin.
And that, effectively, was that. Job done.
Saka is now one of England’s young indispensable talents alongside Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice – a trio that manager Gareth Southgate will, barring accidents, count on until Euro 2024 at the very least.
He is a world-class player in the making. Indeed some might say, with justification, that he is already at that rarified level.
Arsenal’s youngster had an excellent World Cup in Qatar and has been scintillating in the Gunners’ thrilling pursuit of a first English Premier League title since 2004. — BBC Sport