Gareth Southgate reveals Bukayo Saka nearly missed England’s 7-0 loss to North Macedonia with Achilles injury
- Gareth Southgate has revealed that Bukayo Saka is suffering from an Achilles injury
- The 21-year-old netted 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 that Bukayo Saka suffered an Achilles injury during 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 on to a pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold and firing it into the top left corner.
After that, Saka completed his hat trick with a calmly hit effort after going one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Gareth Southgate revealed that Bukayo Saka suffered from an Achilles injury ahead of the game
The 21-year-old netted 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”
However, Southgate – who described Saka as “talented” and “humble” after England’s win – revealed he nearly missed the game.
The Three Lions manager says the 21-year-old struggled with an Achilles injury in the build-up to the game.
Speaking after the match, Southgate said: “He [Saka] works incredibly hard. He has talent, he is humble.
“He’s hugely popular with all the players and all the staff and I have to say his finishing has been like that all week.”
The England manager added: “We weren’t surprised by the first one, that’s how it’s been all week, we didn’t see the second one coming!”
‘I’m happy for him. He’s got a little sore achilles tendon and that’s another one where it would have been easy to fall asleep in camp and miss a night like this which I’m sure will live with him for always.
Southgate was equally impressed with the performance of the team as a whole. He said: “I think it all depends on the opposition and the status of our players.
‘These three [Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka] have had exceptional seasons with their clubs and we felt that 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 who are not there. You need this competition. You won’t always have virtually everyone available, like we did this time around. But it’s great to have these different options.
Southgate was equally impressed with the performance of the team as a whole on Monday