Alan Smith thinks Bukayo Saka fully deserves to be in the England squad and has disputed claims the Arsenal ace is “raw”.
The Gunners star enjoyed a superb season on a personal level, with the 19-year-old winger scoring five goals and registering three assists in the Premier League.
Saka is the only Arsenal player included in the Three Lions’ squad, with their first game on Sunday, June 13, against Croatia.
Former Gunners striker Smith has been talking about Saka’s inclusion but was quick to state his disagreement with a claim made.
“Bukayo Saka deserves to be in, given how he’s performed for a poor Arsenal team at times,” Smith wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“He has shown a lot of maturity, and a lot of versatility. That versatility has definitely helped him.
“He might have been on the borderline, with Jesse Lingard missing out, but I’m glad to see him in.
“He’s a player England will be able to use for many years to come.
“It is invaluable experience just to be within a camp in a tournament like this, and he will learn an awful lot.
“People say he’s raw, but as a footballer I don’t think he is.
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“He understands the game so well. His strengths are certainly going forward, and when he does, he has this fantastic ability to make the right decision and pick the right man out, and he’s strong on both sides.
“Defensively, he has played at full-back and wing-back, and still has a lot to learn on the defensive side, but he is a great talent.”