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Bukayo Saka backed to nail down England starting spot at World Cup

My Football FactsArticles 2022 FIFA World Cup

By Martin Graham | 18th Oct 2022

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has been backed by Rio Ferdinand to nick a starting berth at the World Cup in Qatar.

Fantastic form so far this season
Saka has hit form at the right time after a slow start to the new season. He has been able to score in his past three appearances for the Gunners, which all have been winners, to help extend their brilliant start to the season in all competition.

The Academy graduate also made it to the top ten nominees for the Kopa Trophy award, where he finished in a distant eight behind winner Barcelona’s Gavi. Meanwhile, he scooped the England men’s player of the year award for the year last month and was Arsenal player of the year for last season.

On and of the pitch, he has enjoyed incredible success in the past calendar year and with just weeks before the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there are strong calls for him to start games for the Three Lions.

Backed for World Cup start
Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand revealed on his YouTube channel that he loves the way Bukayo Saka runs at his markers, as lends his backing to the Arsenal star for a starting berth at the World Cup.

The 21-year-old has now scored four goals and provided four assists in 10 Premier League games this season.

“In this form, you can’t look past Saka for that right-wing spot. In an England shirt, he does it as well,” Ferdinand began.

“He’s a winger that when he gets it – I’ve watched him a couple of times this year live as well – when he gets it, his first instinct and intentions is to go past you. He wants to attack the full-back. And we spoke to Nani and he said that was his intention. As soon as when he got the ball one-vs-one, his intention was to beat the full-back.

“And I love that about him. He’s got no fear. He’s playing with a bit more maturity every time I see him.”

Could happen
Going by Ferdinand’s suggestion, which is fact-based, Saka remains one of the best wingers in the current English squad. Saka has stayed fit, did not miss any Premier League for Arsenal last season, and has been able to deliver on a regular basis with the National team.

The decision whether to start him or not lies with Gareth Southgate, but with Saka’s quality, you expect him to start games in Qatar bar any unforeseen circumstances before the 2022 Mundial.

As one would expect, competition for spots will be at a premium in the Three Lions’ squad ahead of the World Cup. At the moment, it seems like only Harry Kane is somewhat untouchable under Gareth Southgate but it would appear Bukayo Saka is slowly walking into that territory as well.

Time will tell what happens but at the moment, the Arsenal man is odds on for a 2022 FIFA World Cup starting spot with England next month.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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