Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka reveals his initial reaction to first England call-up

Saka could make his debut for the Three Lions
Saka could make his debut for the Three Lions (Picture: Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka has revealed he had to be snapped out of a daze when he found out he was being called up to the England squad for the first time this week.

Saka enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Gunners last term, registering 11 assists in all competitions.

The 19-year-old proved his versatility by performing in a multitude of positions, including left-back, central midfield and on the wing.

Southgate has shown faith in plenty of youngsters
Southgate has shown faith in plenty of youngsters (Picture: Getty Images)

His solid performances have been recognised by Southgate, as he made the cut for upcoming Nations League games against Belgium and Denmark.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Saka revealed he was so shocked when receiving the text that Arsenal team-mate Alexandre Lacazette had to slap him on the head to wake him from his stunned state.

He said: ‘My phone was on airplane mode, when I landed I turned it off and saw a text from a woman that I didn’t know until now and it said, “We’re happy to confirm you’ve been selected for the England national team”.

‘I literally just froze, I looked at my phone, I was staring at it for five minutes in shock, so happy.

‘I was there for so long Lacazette came and slapped me on my head and said, “Come on we have to get off the plane”.

‘As soon as I got off the plane I called my brother and family and everyone was happy for me.’

After progressing through the England youth levels Saka finally made the senior squad, and Southgate admitted his versatility will come in handy.

‘We’ve been impressed with his progress through our system,’ the England boss said.

‘I thought at times for Arsenal last year, at times really exciting. Still very young, still learning, of course, but improving all the time. High potential, real good quality.

‘Everybody that’s worked with him tells me he’s a very level-headed, intelligent boy.

‘So it’s an area of the pitch we’re keen to look at a different profile of player. He can play a number of different roles very comfortably.’

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