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Collymore reacts to Saka being named England's player of the year
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Collymore reacts to Saka being named England's player of the year

Stan Collymore has told the Sunday People (25/9; page 62) that Bukayo Saka has been pretty average for England as he reacted to the Arsenal star being named as the player of the year for his country.

Of course, much of the talk surrounding Gareth Southgate’s side right now is pretty negative. They have been relegated from their Nations League group after another defeat this week.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

It is far from the ideal preparation ahead of a World Cup. But there has been some positive news for Saka in the last few days.

It was announced that the 21-year-old has been named as England’s player of the year for the 2021/22 season. The youngster scored three goals in qualifying for the tournament for Qatar.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Nevertheless, Collymore suggested that Saka being given the honour is a concern given his form on the international stage.

“Bukayo Saka is a reasonable choice as England’s player of the year – his attitude and freshness round the camp have been welcome,” he told the Sunday People (25/9; page 62).

“But, overall, the international performances from the Arsenal kid have been 6/10. For the player of the season to have been at that level going into a major tournament is a worry.”

Saka named England player of the year

The Three Lions have not seen the best of Saka on a consistent basis. But Arsenal supporters may argue that that is partially down to how the youngster has been used.

Southgate has not exactly played to his strengths, even using him at left wing-back against Italy this week.

The problem for Saka is that England have so much quality in those areas around the striker. And Saka is probably one of the most versatile of the lot.

He has previously shown that he is able to play at wing-back for Arsenal. It seemed to take some time before he was given a long run as the right-sided forward.

As Collymore suggests, the decision to give Saka the award is hard to complain with. But his comments highlight that there is so much more to come from the attacking midfielder if used correctly.

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