Gareth Southgate reveals Bukayo Saka came close to MISSING England’s thrashing of North


Gareth Southgate reveals Bukayo Saka came close to MISSING England’s 7-0 thrashing of North Macedonia due to an Achilles injury

  • Gareth Southgate revealed Bukayo Saka was suffering with an Achilles injury
  • The 21-year-old scored three times in England’s 7-0 win over North Macedonia
  • Southgate was proud of Saka and described him as ‘talented’ and ‘humble’ 

Gareth Southgate has revealed Bukayo Saka was suffering with an Achilles injury in the build-up to England’s Euro qualifier against North Macedonia. 

Saka was full of confidence on Monday night and helped England beat North Macedonia 7-0 by scoring his first hat-trick for the Three Lions. 

The 21-year-old scored his first goal of the game in the closing stages of the first half with an emphatic finish after combining with Kyle Walker.

Saka scored his second goal in sensational fashion after latching onto a pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold and firing it into the top left corner. 

Following that Saka proceeded to complete his hat-trick with a calmly struck effort after going 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper. 

Gareth Southgate revealed Bukayo Saka was suffering with an Achilles injury before the game

Gareth Southgate revealed Bukayo Saka was suffering with an Achilles injury before the game

The 21-year-old scored three times in England's 7-0 win over North Macedonia on Monday

The 21-year-old scored three times in England’s 7-0 win over North Macedonia on Monday

Southgate was incredibly proud of Saka and described him as 'talented' and 'humble'

Southgate was incredibly proud of Saka and described him as ‘talented’ and ‘humble’

However, Southgate – who described Saka as ‘talented’ and ‘humble’ after England’s victory – revealed he came close to missing the game. 

The Three Lions manager said the 21-year-old had been struggling with an Achilles injury in the build-up to the game. 

Speaking after the fixture, Southgate said: ‘He [Saka] works incredibly hard. He’s talented, he’s humble. 

‘He’s hugely popular with all of the players and all of the staff and I have to say his finishing has been like that all week.’

The England manager went on to add: ‘We weren’t surprised by the first one, that’s how he’s been all week, we hadn’t seen the second one coming!

‘I am delighted for him. He’s had a slightly sore Achilles and it’s another one where it would have been easy to lull out on the camp and miss out on a night like this that I’m sure will live with him forever.’

Southgate was equally as impressed with the team’s performance as a whole. He said: ‘I think everything depends on the opposition and what status our players are in. 

‘Those three [Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka] have had exceptional seasons with their clubs and we felt tonight it would be more transitional, there would be more space and the speed of Bukayo and Marcus would be decisive.

‘But we have different options with Phil [Foden] and Jack [Grealish] and others that aren’t here. You need that competition. You’re not always going to have virtually everybody available, as we did this time. But it’s great to have those different options.’

Southgate was equally as impressed with the team's performance as a whole on Monday

Southgate was equally as impressed with the team’s performance as a whole on Monday



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