Bukayo Saka has enjoyed a meteoric ascent since breaking onto the scene as a prodigious teenager at Arsenal.
It is a testament to just how far Saka has come that he was selected ahead of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho for England’s final Euro 2020 group stage game against the Czech Republic last week.
Gareth Southgate’s decision raised plenty of eyebrows in the build up to the game, but Saka’s display, which earned him the Man of the Match award, provided full vindication for his manager.
Deployed on the right side of England‘s attack, Saka was a menace in possession of the ball and injected a level of dynamism that had been absent in the preceding fixtures.
But it turns out that Saka isn’t just a fantastically gifted footballer.
According to Luke Shaw, he’s an exceptional character who is loved by everyone in the England dressing room.
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While speaking to the Lion’s Den from St George’s Park, the flying Manchester United full-back delivered a thoroughly heart-warming assessment on Saka.
“Honestly mate, I love him. I would just love it if he was my child or something.
“I feel like you could ask everyone in the squad and everyone would say the same thing: what a good guy he honestly is.
“Obviously I didn’t know him before I came to the camp and I didn’t know what he would be like.
“I’ve got on so well with him. I’d love him to be my brother. He’s so cool, so funny and he makes everyone laugh. And he doesn’t mean it. He’s not a loud person but just the way he is and the way he speaks, he’s just so funny mate.
“And I think someone like that in the camp is good to have and he gets everyone laughing, and we all love him and appreciate him the way he is.”
After listening to Shaw’s gushing words on Saka, the presenter pointed out that he’s a first-class player as well as a first-class bloke: “And he can also ball!”
And Shaw was certainly in agreement with that verdict.
“Oh he’s unbelievable isn’t he. And he’s still only 19, that’s the scary thing. He just takes everything in his stride, he’s not fazed by anything.
“He’s been brilliant so far and I keep telling him hopefully he keeps it up and keeps impressing everyone.”
You can watch the clip in full below:
The love inside the England cap continues to grow.
What a brilliant time it is to be a Three Lions supporter.