Gareth Southgate has revealed that Bukayo Saka is set to be fit for England’s semi-final clash with Denmark on Wednesday night, having missed the quarter-final win over Ukraine.
The Arsenal teenager has been one of the shining lights in the Three Lions’ European Championship’s campaign thus far, following impressive displays against both Czech Republic and Germany as part of an attacking trio alongside Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
The 19-year-old had appeared to be some way down the pecking order prior to the tournament, yet his fearless and eye-catching showings have moved him ahead of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden in the battle for a starting berth.
Unfortunately for the youngster, a slight knock kept him out of Saturday night’s 4-0 thrashing of Andriy Shevchenko’s men, his absence allowing Jadon Sancho to earn his first start of the tournament.
With the soon-to-be Manchester United man putting in a strong performance, Saka may have a fight on his hands to reclaim his place, although he will at least be available after Gareth Southgate revealed that he is ready for action.
“He should be fine,” said Southgate at a pre-match press conference.
“He did declare himself available for the (Ukraine) game, but we had not really had the chance to see him on the pitch and working at the level we felt would vindicate that decision.
Same team but Saka back in https://t.co/naS0L1DOht
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) July 4, 2021
“He will go back into full training with the group tomorrow (Monday) and he should be fine, yeah.”
Although there is fierce competition for that final attacking slot alongside certain starters Kane and Sterling, former England international and current pundit Gary Neville thinks that Saka should go straight back into the side for the encounter with the Danes.
The versatile forward’s speed and ability to drive the team forward is a real asset to Southgate’s side, particularly if the England boss opts to deploy a more defensive-minded 3-4-3 formation once again, to counteract the attacking threat of the Danish wing-back’s.