England manager Gareth Southgate had to wait until Nigeria’s Independence Day before handing Arsenal star Bukayo Saka his first call up to the England national team, www.aclsports.com
Saka, 19, born in London to Nigerian parents has been a subject of interest to both the England and Nigerian national teams after his breakthrough at London side Arsenal.
The left sided player who has represented England at junior levels from Under 16 to Under 21 has now been rewarded with an invite to the senior national team ahead of this month’s international fixtures.
BREAKING: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Bukayo Saka and Harvey Barnes have been handed their first senior England call-ups, while Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden have been dropped.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 1, 2020
England will face Wales, Belgium and Denmark starting from next week’s Thursday all at the Wembley Stadium and Saka has been included in a 30-man squad which also has Chelsea star Tammy Abraham, also of Nigerian parentage.
13 – Since the start of last season, only Trent Alexander-Arnold (16) has provided more assists in all competitions than Bukayo Saka (13) among English Premier League players. Rewarded. pic.twitter.com/diDl4wPFcc— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 1, 2020
Saka has featured three times for Arsenal this season and he is expected to fight for a place in the left wing back position with Chelsea’s returning star Ben Chilwell.
“The 30-man squad is very unusual for us. That’s a nod to the fact we’ve got three matches, but also the amount of football the players are currently experiencing. There’s a lot of physical issues that all clubs and coaches are having to deal with,” said England manager Southgate.
They called up Bukayo Saka on Nigerian Independence Day, talk about colonisation 😭😭😭😭😭 https://t.co/EsE5g8QoQ9— C (@AFC_Carys) October 1, 2020
Saka’s invitation by the Three Lions might have effectively put paid to the hopes of some Nigerians, as well as national team handler Gernot Rohr in having him play for the the country of his parents.
Bukayo Saka handed first call-ups to England national team by manager Gareth Southgate.— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) October 1, 2020
The only circumstance in which Saka might still be eligible to feature for Nigeria after this international window is if he does not get to play (more than once) in the UEFA Europeans Nations League fixtures against Belgium and Denmark; a possibility.