Bukayo Saka admits to facing a “tough choice” when it comes to his international future; with the Arsenal starlet in a position to pick between England and Nigeria.
The 18-year-old has represented the Three Lions at youth level up to U19.
However, he does have the option to switch allegiance to the Super Eagles on a senior stage. No decision has been made as yet. But the Emirates Stadium academy graduate is said to have caught the eye of Gareth Southgate. Consequently, he could be involved in the next England squad.
Snubbing those advances would be tricky, even if friendly outings would leave the Nigeria option open; with Saka telling Sky Sports: “It’s a tough choice.
“I’m happy to have represented England at youth level. But I’m also proud of my Nigerian heritage from my parents. We haven’t been picked by any team. So it’s about staying humble and when the time comes we’ll make the decision.”
Saka is one of several exciting young talents that are knocking on the door of an England call-up.
Mason Greenwood and Jude Bellingham also form part of that group; with the former starring for Manchester United while the latter has earned a big-money move to Borussia Dortmund at just 17 years of age.
“Greenwood and Bellingham have so much quality. Whether they are 18 or 28 or 38 they’ve got quality and when you’ve got quality you’re going to be in the team, providing you can apply the right attitude,” Saka said.
“I feel the age isn’t really a factor because they’ve got maturity and quality beyond their years. That’s why they’re being trusted I believe.”
Saka has earned the trust of those at Arsenal; with 38 appearances taken in across what has been a breakthrough campaign in 2019-20.
A new contract has been landed in North London, while the 18-year-old will be following in the footsteps of Robert Pires; as well as Tomas Rosicky and David Rocastle next season in taking the Gunners’ No.7 shirt.
On taking that jersey, Saka said: “I was so excited to get it. It’s stuff you dream of and to think of the legends who have had it is such an honour.
“I liked the number growing up because some of the best players in the world have worn it.
“It shows how much confidence they have in me… I want to repay their faith and hopefully can write my own history in that shirt.”