England hero Bukayo Saka has been hailed as an “incredible” player with “special talents” by former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Saka, 21, produced a hugely impressive performance in England’s opening match of the 2022 World Cup against Iran on Monday.
After the match, former Arsenal captain Wilshere was quick to praise Saka and believes the versatile forward has qualities not usually possessed by a player his age.
Wilshere hails Saka as “incredible”
“What amazes me about him is he always makes the right decision, it’s incredible”, Wilshere told The Sun.
“It is so rare for a young player – he’s only just turned 21 – to instinctively know what is right in any given situation. I stress with my Arsenal U18 players to study him.
“If the situation calls for a five-yard pass he’ll do it but if he has to beat someone he’ll do that too. Bukayo always gets it right, which is a skill itself.
“His level of understanding is that he’ll know if he plays a certain pass, the free player will be there. He won’t try and force it.”
“Southgate trusts him”
Wilshere believes Saka will continue to play a crucial role for England in Qatar.
And the former England international, who played for Arsenal’s first-team while Saka was in the club’s academy, expects the Gunners winger to step up and take a penalty if needed – despite missing one in the Euro 2020 final shootout defeat to Italy.
“In the Euros last year, Gareth Southgate trusted him,” said Wilshere, who is now a coach for Arsenal’s U18 side.
“He missed that crucial penalty in the final but bounced back and now he’s Arsenal’s penalty taker.
“I’m sure if there’s another penalty shootout he will step up. He won’t be bothered at all by what happened before.
“He is the most humble kid – not one of those big-time types – who will come over and watch my U18s and talk to them.
“In the training ground restaurant, he’ll be over to chat and shake everyone’s hand.”