Bukayo Saka has been crowned England men’s Player of the Year for a second successive year. The winger has pipped Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane to the award voted by Three Lions fans.
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Saka has established himself as one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet. He has made 10 appearances for England in the last year, scoring seven times.
Three of those goals came at the World Cup in Qatar, while he netted his first senior hat-trick in the 7-0 win over North Macedonia in June. The Arsenal star was said to be surprised to receive the award when given it at St George’s Park this week.
Bellingham has also enjoyed a fine year at senior level, playing a key role in Qatar at the age of just 19. Kane has also been at his usual goalscoring best, breaking Wayne Rooney’s record to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer in March.
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However, it was Saka who won the England fans’ votes. He is set to start in Saturday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine.
Saka missed England’s training session on Tuesday. However, he has since revealed it was planned for him to do some extra recovery by himself.
He played the entirety of Arsenal’s dramatic late 3-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday. Saka has also enjoyed a stand-out year for his club.
He hit 14 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League last season and already has two goals to his name this term. He has also broken Arsenal’s record for the most consecutive appearances in the Premier League.
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England are well placed in Group C of Euro 2024 qualifying, with Southgate’s side halfway through their campaign having won all four matches to date. If fit, Saka is in line to play at his third major tournament next summer at the age of 22.
He suffered the unbearable heartache at Euro 2020 of missing the vital penalty in the shootout defeat to Italy. England crashed out of the World Cup last December at the quarter-final stage.
Saka is desperate to win silverware on the international stage and hopes that can start in Germany next year. He told talkSPORT: “I just want to win everything with England. It’s pretty much that simple.
“Yeah, it’s pretty quick, it’s literally next summer! So yeah, we’re training, got loads of games ahead to keep learning, keep growing as a team and yeah, increase our confidence going into the tournament.”
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