‘Couldn’t handle him’: Jamie Redknapp was so impressed with 21-year-old Arsenal man last night
Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka can be incredibly proud of his performances at the World Cup this winter.
The 21-year-old finished the tournament as England’s joint top-scorer, and started all-but-one of their games.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Jamie Redknapp shared how impressed he had been with Saka.
The Arsenal man put in another brilliant performance last night, and terrorised Theo Hernandez.
The French defender really struggled to cope with Saka, and resorted to fouling him on a number of occasions.
The winger looked to be fouled in the build-up to France’s first goal, but the referee allowed play to continue.
He won England’s first penalty with a fantastic run into the box, drawing a foul from Aurelien Tchouameni.
Harry Kane converted the spot kick to draw England level, before Saka was substituted in the 79th minute for Raheem Sterling.
France had just retaken the lead through Olivier Giroud, and England needed another goal desperately.
Kane had another opportunity from 12 yards to equalise, but couldn’t convert his spot kick.
Redknapp admitted after the match how impressed he was with Saka, and couldn’t believe Southgate substituted him.
Redknapp impressed with Saka
Speaking to Sky Sports, Redknapp said: “They couldn’t handle Bukayo Saka, they just couldn’t handle him.
“He was too much for Hernandez all game, and I must admit looking at it now I couldn’t believe that Gareth took him off.
“Even if we’d got a goal and the game had gone to extra-time, he was the player that every time you got the ball to him, he had me on the edge of my seat.
“I found that a really strange decision. Obviously, you’ve got to make substitutions to try and effect the game.
“I’d have kept him on every single second of that game. I’m sure Hernandez when he saw him go off had a huge sigh of relief.
“We sort of lost our way after that, yes we had the free-kick with [Marcus] Rashford that just sailed over the bar, but that was a really strange substitution.”
The 21-year-old will understand Kane’s pain today after missing a decisive penalty of his own last summer.
Saka had a brilliant tournament, and it’s no surprise Redknapp was impressed last night.
Mikel Arteta has a player returning to London Colney who will be understandably disappointed but in top form.
Saka has earned plenty of plaudits in Qatar, with international teammate Callum Wilson singing his praises.
He’ll now return to Arsenal alongside Aaron Ramsdale, who is also a big fan of the young forward.