Arsenal star Bukayo Saka, who has previously been described as an ‘outstanding talent’ by Aston Villa manager and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, has been awarded the England men’s player of the year award.
The fan-voted award saw the 21-year-old beat out England aces Declan Rice and Harry Kane, who came second and third respectively in the voting.
In a message on Twitter responding to winning the award, Saka said: “This is such a special honour for me and I’m very grateful to everyone who voted.”
Bukayo Saka Named England Men’s Player of the Year
— England (@England) September 23, 2022
Saka at 2020 European Championships
Although it ended in disappointment, the 2020 European Championships saw Bukayo Saka start his 2021/22 campaign in excellent form.
Absent from the starting eleven in England’s first two group stage games, Bukayo Saka seemed to just be making up the numbers in Gareth Southgate’s squad. However, the winger was finally given his chance in England’s final group stage game against the Czech Republic, and he grabbed it with both hands.
From the right flank, Saka caused the Czech Republic problems throughout the entirety of the game and was even presented with Uefa’s Player of the Match award for his efforts.
He then featured in three of England’s next four matches, and other than his penalty miss in the final, endured a near-perfect tournament, and was undoubtedly, one of England’s most impressive players.
He went on to make a total of nine appearances during that international season, bagging three goals and putting in yet another man of the match display in England’s 4-0 victory over Andorra on 5 September 2021.
Saka’s 2021/22 Premier League Campaign
After missing that all-important penalty in the Euro 2020 final, many players, especially players of such a young age, would have found the following season incredibly difficult. In spite of that, Bukayo Saka shone for Arsenal and very nearly fired The Gunners to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League.
He registered eleven goals and seven assists in what was not just a very impressive individual season, but also Saka’s most productive season of his professional career so far.
The fact that this came after such a difficult end to the summer preceding the Premier League’s commencement is a testament to the mental strength that Saka possesses and the confidence that he has in his own ability.
This award is yet another milestone in what is likely to be a very successful career for the Arsenal winger.