Arsenal stalwart Bukayo Saka has reportedly been dropped for England’s Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday night.
The 19-year-old enjoyed an extremely productive campaign with the Gunners, notching seven goals and ten assists across all competitions, statistics that read even more impressive considering he was deployed in five different positions throughout the season.
His consistent displays then earned him Arsenal’s Player of the Season award, as well as a place in England’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020.
Some eyebrows were raised at Saka’s inclusion in the squad but these qualms were quashed after he was awarded UEFA star of the match for his eye-catching performance against the Czech Republic in the Three Lions’ final group game.
The teenage sensation then went on to produce solid displays against Germany in the round of 16 and Denmark in the semi-final – where he produced a stunning low-cross that found its way into the Danish net via AC Milan defender Simon Kjaer.
However, Saka will be dropped for tonight’s final against Italy, according to a report from The Sun, who claim that he will be replaced by Atletico Madrid fullback Kieran Trippier to allow manager Gareth Southgate to start with a back five, the same system that he deployed against the Germans.
The exclusion will be a huge blow for Saka and one that former Manchester United captain Roy Keane will disagree with.
“It would be nice to see Saka”, Keane told ITV’s final preview show on Saturday night.
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“People worry about young players but we’ve seen him get interviewed and he’s taken it all in his stride and his pace and his movement have been outstanding.
“Pace is vital if Kane’s going to be dropping deep, getting down the sides of Italy is going to be a huge part of the game.”
Predicted England XI: (3-4-2-1) Pickford; Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips; Mount, Sterling; Kane.