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Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka crowned England Men’s Player of the Year

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka crowned England Men’s Player of the Year

Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka has been crowned the England Men’s Player of the Year for the 2021-22 season.

The 21-year-old recovered from his Euro 2020 penalty heartbreak to remain a vital player for Arsenal domestically, and he made waves on the international stage last year.

Saka was selected for the Three Lions’ World Cup qualification period in September, October and November, during which he scored three goals and provided two assists from five appearances.

The Hale End graduate scored one and set up another in a 4-0 win over Andorra on his 20th birthday before once again netting against the Tricolors one month later.

Saka then contributed another goal and assist in the 10-0 thumping of San Marino in November, although he failed to contribute in any of England’s four Nations League games in June.

A special surprise in a ‘standard’ press conference 😅

Introducing your 2021/22 England Player of the Year…@BukayoSaka87 👏

— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 23, 2022

Nevertheless, the attacker won the majority of the fans’ vote to scoop the Men’s Player of the Year award, becoming the first-ever Arsenal man to be handed the prestigious honour.

West Ham United lynchpin Declan Rice came in second, while Tottenham Hotspur striker and Three Lions skipper Harry Kane was in third place.

Saka received his award during a press conference with grassroots players at St George’s Park, and he proceeded to take questions from the youngsters after being handed the trophy.

The Arsenal man was also crowned the Gunners’ men’s player of the year for 2021-22 after coming up with 11 goals and seven assists in 38 Premier League outings, and he is one of 10 finalists for the 2022 Kopa Trophy.

Saka already has one goal and four assists to his name from eight appearances in Arsenal colours this term, while his England tally now stands at four goals and four assists from 18 outings.

© Reuters

Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips won the England Men’s Player of the Year award for 2020-21, and Arsenal had only ever seen two players make the top three before Saka’s triumph.

Theo Walcott finished third in 2008 behind Wayne Rooney and Gareth Barry, while Danny Welbeck was runner-up to Rooney in 2014, ahead of third-placed Raheem Sterling.

Saka has been included in Gareth Southgate‘s squad for September’s UEFA Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany, as the Three Lions aim to avoid being relegated to League B.

England sit bottom of the League A Group 3 standings with just two points to their name, and their demotion will be confirmed if they lost to the Azzurri at San Siro on Friday night.

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