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Bukayo Saka Makes England Debut

9 October 2020 News Sport


Bukayo Saka officially played his first game for the English national team Thursday night as the Three Lions thumped Wales 3-0 at Wembley.

Three first-time scorers gave England the win.

Saka was handed a starting shirt in the international friendly and the 19-year old did not disappoint as he got a warm embrace from manager Gareth Southgate when he was finally pulled off in the 76th minute for fellow Arsenal colleague Maitland-Niles.

Saka was coveted by Nigeria football officials to play for the Super Eagles, but the 19-year-old made a decision to pledge his international future to England.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr in an interview with ESPN said he was not taken by surprise when the 19-year-old jumped at the invitation by the Three Lions.

“We are not surprised,” Rohr told ESPN.

“Of course we would have liked to have him with us, but we have to respect this kind of decision from him.

“I wish him good luck and a long career with England.”

Saka is still eligible for Nigeria despite featuring in the Thursday night’s friendly.

According to the FIFA rules, players cannot switch nationality only when they play in competitive official games like qualifiers or in sanctioned international tournaments.

England play Belgium on Sunday in the Nations League at Wembley, while Wales face Republic of Ireland on the same day.

If Saka features in the Sunday game or against Denmark days after, then he is no longer eligible for Nigeria.


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