Gareth Southgate revealed the balance Bukayo Saka offers his side represented the chief reason the Arsenal teenager earned a recall for tonight’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark.
The 19-year-old was a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s squad prior to the tournament but he won the man of the match award in the final group game against Czech Republic, before starring in the landmark win over Germany at the last 16 stage.
Saka picked up an injury in training ahead of Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ukraine, however, which handed Jadon Sancho a belated opportunity to his stake claim for regular inclusion.
The new Manchester United signing impressed his international manager, but the fit again Saka was given the nod ahead of England’s biggest game on home soil in 25 years.
Explaining his decision Southtage told ITV: ‘What he’s done in the previous matches, he’s really embraced that challenge. We were very pleased with Jadon at the weekend.
‘Everybody knows we’ve got fantastic options in those areas but we felt for the balance of tonight that Bukayo is the right choice.’
On England’s preparations, meanwhile, Southgate added: ‘We’ve kept things as normal as possible.
‘Over the last few years, the players have gained big match experience and there’s hardly an experience they’ve not been through.
‘We need to be able to deal with their play between the lines, stop their presses and use the ball in the way we have in the last few matches, with the movement that will cause them problems.’
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