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Sterling and Rashford told to watch out for Saka as Southgate praises teenager

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Bukayo Saka has forced his way into the conversation about England’s starting XI to face Croatia in the Euro 2020 opener.

In the absence of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Mason Mount, Saka seized his opportunity by scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory over Austria on Wednesday night.

Saka bagged his first senior England goal

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Saka bagged his first senior England goal

It capped off a terrific individual performance, which stood out in a rather tepid display from the Three Lions.

And reacting to the match on talkSPORT, former Premier League stars Jamie O’Hara and Gabby Agbonlahor suggested the Arsenal teenager could take Sterling or Rashford’s place on the wing this summer.

“Saka could force himself into the England side, he offers something different,” ex-Aston Villa forward Agbonlahor said.

“He gets the ball and he goes past players on the outside.

Saka is one of numerous star forwards looking to start at the Euros

AFP

Saka is one of numerous star forwards looking to start at the Euros

“Players like Rashford and Sterling have to be careful because he’s there to try and take their place.”

And O’Hara agreed. The ex-Tottenham midfielder said: “The two best performances on the pitch were Jack Grealish and Saka.

“Saka was impressive, he could be a real weapon for England.”

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for the 19-year-old, whose performance came as no surprise given a superb season with Arsenal.

Saka’s displays for Arsenal this season earned him a PFA Young Player of the Year nomination

AFP

Saka’s displays for Arsenal this season earned him a PFA Young Player of the Year nomination

The Three Lions boss told talkSPORT: “I thought he had a very good game. Right from the start, he was combining well in between the lines.

“He plays with a real maturity and confidence. He’s impressed us ever since he joined up.

“He played in a team at a big club in a difficult season and showed a real consistency – and he showed that tonight.”



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