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Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka handed maiden England call up

Arsenal defender Bukayo Saka has been handed their first senior England call-up.

Saka, 19, has featured just three times for Arsenal during this campaign but broke into the first-team and impressed while playing at full-back for the Gunners last season.

With Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang now largely dominating the left-flank, Saka has been limited to just three appearances for Arsenal so far this season.

However, the youngster proved his value across a number of positions in a standout breakthrough campaign, in which he scored four goals and provided 11 assists in 39 games across all competitions.

Saka took to social media to express his delight at earning a spot in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad, writing: “Honoured and grateful to get my first England call up!”

When asked whether he had to convince Saka about his international future on the back of his previous comments, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “I’ve not talked specifically to Bukayo about that.

“I think so many of our players are eligible for dual-nationality, sometimes more than two countries.”

After his breakthrough into the Arsenal first team last season, Southgate was full of praise for what the 19-year-old could bring to the table.

“We have been impressed with his progress through our system and I thought at times last year for Arsenal he was really exciting,” he said.

England play Wales in a friendly at Wembley on October 8 before hosting Belgium and Denmark in Nations League matches on October 11 and October 14.

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