Saka was 'different class' against Slavia Prague, says Martin Keown

Bukayo Saka was ‘different class’ and Slavia Prague ‘COULDN’T stop him’ in Europa League win, says Martin Keown… as ex-Arsenal defender talks up ‘unique’ star’s Euro 2020 chances with England

  • REPORT: Arsenal run riot in the Czech Republic to reach Europa League last four
  • Martin Keown was full of praise for the performance of youngster Bukayo Saka
  • The 19-year-old got on the scoresheet in Prague as Arsenal demolished the hosts
  • Keown described Saka as ‘outstanding’ and is worthy of England consideration

Martin Keown hailed Bukayo Saka as ‘different class’ and said the Arsenal winger was unplayable against Slavia Prague on Thursday night as Mikel Arteta’s side reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Saka found the net in a rampant 4-0 display as a ruthless first half showing ensured safe passage to set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Villarreal, managed by ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

For Keown, Saka was a class above on the night and felt his performance was the sign of a player ‘determined’ to impress having missed out on playing in last season’s FA Cup final.

Bukayo Saka was described as ‘different class’ for his performance against Slavia Prague

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown felt the Czech Republic side could not stop Saka

The 19-year-old was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley and Keown believes that personal disappointment has served Arsenal well in making him hungry to be a consistent starter in this European run. 

‘That young man didn’t play the FA Cup final last year and he has the point to prove,’ Keown told BT Sport

‘That will have hurt him. He probably deserved to get on in that game but maybe it was a blessing. He’s determined and his contribution tonight was different class.’

The 19-year-old was a menace on the right and he is motivated to drive Arsenal to the final

So high was Keown on Saka’s recent performances, he talked up the potential for the teenager to win a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s rearranged European Championships.

He has won four senior Three Lions caps so far and will believe a strong finish to the season can earn him one of the 23 spots available to Southgate. 

For Keown, Saka’s ability to cover multiple positions makes it a strong case to be included. 

‘His versatility is a must,’ he added. ‘They can’t stop (Saka), he’s just too good. It was emphatic how he put it in the net (for his goal).

‘He can play as a No 10, as a left back as I keep suggesting and on the right. He really is an outstanding talent, so why would Gareth Southgate not look at him? He’s quite unique in the skill-set he has.’ 

His goal capped off a fine display and Keown believes he is on England’s radar for Euro 2020

Speaking after the win, which saw captain Alexandre Lacazette net twice, Saka added: ‘It was fantastic from start to finish. I say thanks to God I’m in the semi-final and have the chance to play in a semi-final for Arsenal.

We showed real character because we got the first (goal), it took quite a while to be disallowed and I heard it was just a fraction offside for Emile (Smith Rowe) which is unlucky. 

‘We were really strong in the first half and pretty much killed the game in the first half.

‘I feel like in the first leg we played well but just weren’t clinical but credit to the manager and the coaching staff. The way they set us up, they couldn’t get out, they couldn’t’ stop us and we did really well in that department.’    

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