Gareth Southgate has suggested that Bukayo Saka is underrated because of his quiet consistency and quality all over the pitch as he hails him as a ‘fantastic talent’.
After winning Arsenal’s Player of the Season award for the second time in a row, it’s pretty clear that Bukayo Saka has the support of his own fans at club level. The Premier League also handed him the Academy Graduate award for 2021/22.
Yet the winger doesn’t seem to get the same recognition on a wider basis.
Phil Foden recently picked up the Young Player of the Year award with fewer goals than Saka and fewer assists than Saka, playing in a superior team.
Saka was nominated for Premier League Player of the Season whilst Foden wasn’t, but the Young Player votes went Foden’s way anyway.
Ahead of England’s game against Italy on Saturday night, England boss Gareth Southgate says Saka is underappreciated.
“He’s a fantastic talent,” Southgate insisted. “He’s one that’s possibly less appreciated because his profile isn’t quite the same as some of our other attacking players.
“He just quietly goes about his job, but I think you see the consistency of his performances and quality of his play. He scores goals, he makes goals and defends for the team.
“He’s a fabulous kid. If your daughter brings Bukayo home you’d be more than happy.”
Manchester City have recently been linked with a future move for Saka, though the club are denying the reports and Arsenal are planning contract extension talks once the winger returns from international duty.
It seems a bit ridiculous that Saka is still only halfway through the international break after a 38-game Premier League season with Arsenal’s pre-season starting in just over a fortnight, but here we are.