Saka is SHOCKED after winning England Player of the Year, admitting he ‘did not expect’ the award

Bukayo Saka looked stunned as he was handed the England Player of the Year award on Friday

‘I did not expect this:’ Bukayo Saka is SHOCKED after winning England Player of the Year… as the Arsenal star beats Tottenham striker Harry Kane and West Ham anchor Declan Rice to the award

  • Bukayo Saka has been voted England’s Player of the Year by fans for 2021-22
  • He beat Harry Kane and Declan Rice, who came second and third respectively 
  • The young Arsenal star looked visibly shocked when he was handed the award
  • The 21-year-old exclaimed: ‘No way! I did not expect this, honestly. I’m honoured’
  • Saka made nine international appearances and netted three goals last campaign 

Bukayo Saka looked visibly shocked as he was handed the England Player of the Year award on Friday.

The Arsenal star, who edged England captain and runner-up Harry Kane and third-place finisher Declan Rice to the gong, was deemed England’s standout performer over the last 12 months by voters.

Saka, 21, made nine international appearances this season for the Three Lions and chalked up three goals, putting in a man-of-the-match performance during England’s 4-0 victory against Andorra on his birthday last September.

Bukayo Saka looked stunned as he was handed the England Player of the Year award on Friday

Bukayo Saka looked stunned as he was handed the England Player of the Year award on Friday

The winger was voted by fans as England's standout performer ahead of runner-up Harry Kane

The winger was voted by fans as England’s standout performer ahead of runner-up Harry Kane

And now, a year on, the Gunners winger has been offered the perfect vote of confidence from fans as England prepare to take on Italy in the Nations League on Friday night.

Saka missed the all-important penalty against the Azzurri during the Euro 2020 final at Wembley and had to showed strength of character to bounce back for both club and country.

The youngster went on to claim Arsenal’s Player of the Season award for a second successive campaign and was shortlisted for the Kopa Trophy, which is handed to the world’s best played aged 21 and under. 

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The 21-year-old star is preparing to take on Italy on Friday night with Gareth Southgate’s side

Spurs ace Harry Kane and West Ham anchor Declan Rice came second and third respectively

Spurs ace Harry Kane and West Ham anchor Declan Rice came second and third respectively

Upon receiving the England Player of the Year award, which was presented by a group of young grassroots footballers during a mock press conference, Saka was notably taken aback.

‘No way!’ he said in disbelief as he was handed the trophy.

‘I did not expect this, honestly. I’m honoured.

‘I’m so happy, I can’t put into words how happy I am. It’s really nice to be awarded this trophy, and that’s all I can really say!

Saka chalked up three international goals in nine appearances for the Three Lions in 2021-22

Saka chalked up three international goals in nine appearances for the Three Lions in 2021-22

‘Playing for England is so special, there are so many kids who want to play football for teams and it’s really difficult, so to then get picked to play for your country, it’s another level of honour and pride in yourself.

‘So I’m just really happy every time I get to come here, pull on the shirt and play at Wembley in front of all the fans.

‘It’s a beautiful feeling.’

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