Bukayo Saka ‘should be the one Gareth Southgate turns to at the World Cup’, says Martin Keown


Martin Keown has insisted that no one is as important out wide for England as Bukayo Saka right now.

Saka put in another impressive performance as Arsenal beat PSV 1-0 in the Europa League on Thursday, before limping off late on to a round of applause at the Emirates.

Keown, speaking as a pundit on BT Sport, claimed that Saka should ‘be the one that (Gareth) Southgate turns to’ at the World Cup, which is now exactly one month away.

‘We’ve got a World Cup coming up and I just feel now that he’s got to be the one that Southgate turns to in that position’, said Keown.

‘I don’t care who it is – they’re not playing better than he is. He’s really important right now.’

Fara Williams, also working as a pundit for the game echoed Keown’s views, describing the 21-year-old as ‘unpredictable’.

‘I think you can see here from all of the clips in the game, the differences in his play and how he mixes things up’, she said.

‘As a wide player, you can become predictable. But he’s so unpredictable. He can take it in wide areas and pop up inside.’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta put a strong side out for the game, with Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka among those to start the match.

The Spaniard played down the significance of a potential injury for Saka, saying: ‘I think he will be OK’ when asked on the topic after the game.

Keown added: ‘He’s tough. He’ll keep coming back for more – there’s a huge game again at the weekend.

‘Give him the rub downs, the massage, the right diet and prepare him nicely for the weekend, because there’s a huge game coming up there.’

Arsenal face Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday.


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