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Southgate full of praise for ‘ruthless’ Saka’s development

Gareth Southgate has praised Bukayo Saka’s development following his role in England’s 2-0 win over Ukraine.

Saka created one and scored another as England won 2-0 at Wembley to maintain their perfect start to qualification for Euro 2024, continuing his excellent form at club level this season on the international stage.

 

The 21-year-old made the first for Harry Kane with a wonderful cross to find the England captain, before doubling the Three Lions’ advantage with a stunning effort from outside of the area.

Southgate was full of praise for the winger who has been a key figure in Arsenal’s title challenge this season and believes that Saka has taken his game to another level across the last 18 months.

“That is the ruthless part he has added to his game in the last 18 months or so. There were times you weren’t sure he was going to finish, but now he has that confidence in front of goal,” Southgate said post-match.

“I just think when he’s in front of goal now, he plays with real belief. That is evident with his club and it is evident in the games with us. You are expecting him to score now when he goes through and that’s been a mentality shift as much as anything technical. He’s always had the technique.

“I think he knows to be a really top wide player you need the number of goals and assists and without a doubt he has delivered that all season.

“His hunger, 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 and I don’t see that changing with how he is and how his family are.

“He’s got great support around him and all those things are important for a young player. I’m not going to get drawn into where he sits in world football because that would then be starting to put him in danger of doing all the things we shouldn’t be doing with him. He’s progressing brilliantly, he’s a joy to work with and we should leave it at that.”

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