Arsenal’s youngster, Bukayo Saka, has been named in England’s squad for games against Wales, Belgium, and Denmark.
This is his first senior England call-up for England born to Nigerian parents and had an option to pick either of the countries.
In a tweet, Saka indicated an interest in accepting the invitation to play for the Three Lions, putting to rest the expectation that he may feature for Nigeria.
However, until he plays an official game match for England he is still eligible to switch his allegiance to Nigeria.
“Honoured and grateful to get my first @england call-up! #Blessings,” he tweeted.
— Bukayo Saka (@BukayoSaka87) October 1, 2020
This move could end his chances of representing the Super Eagles, and he accepted it with gratitude.
Saka has been in fine form and important for Arsenal since breaking into the Gunners first team and last season.
He could play on the left-wing and as a left-back which makes him so important for any team.
Saka featured prominently as Mikel Arteta’s men finish eighth in the Premier League and also helped the club clinch the FA Cup title last season.
Since the start of last season, only Trent Alexander-Arnold (16) has provided more assists in all competitions than Bukayo Saka (13) among English Premier League players.
Also, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was named in England’s squad after being dropped following his conviction in a Greek court.
Maguire’s Manchester United team-mate Mason Greenwood and Manchester City’s Phil Foden were both omitted from the 30-man squad after being sent home from England’s camp in Iceland last month for breaching coronavirus rules.
England play Wales in a friendly at Wembley on October 8 before hosting Belgium and Denmark in Nations League matches on October 11 and October 14.
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tyrone Mings, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks
Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Harvey Barnes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling
However, Nigerians and other nationals have taken to social media to give their opinions as Saka ditched the Super Eagles of Nigeria for the Three Lions of England.
Some Nigerians who wanted him so much said the England call up broke their heart; especially on a day, the country is celebrating.
“Interesting to see the reaction in Lagos to Gareth Southgate calling up Bukayo Saka for #eng on Nigeria’s National Day of Independence,” Henry Winter, Chief Football Writer @TimesSport stated.
Interesting to see the reaction in Lagos to Gareth Southgate calling up Bukayo Saka for #eng on Nigeria’s National Day of Independence.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) October 1, 2020
Here are some reactions from Nigeria:
A Twitter user said: “They called up Bukayo Saka on Nigerian Independence Day, talk about colonisation.
Bukayo Saka getting his England call up on Nigerian Independence Day is a war crime in itself, and Southgate has to answer to this
— Wallz(y) (@bigbadwallz) October 1, 2020
Y'all mad cos Bukayo Saka chose to play for England LMAOO. If na you shey u go choose this yeye country ni. You wey dey pray say make u enter Canada everyday. Werey con dey disguise for timeline. 😂
— 𝕩coubar AFC 神 (@xcoubar) October 1, 2020
October 1st 2015: England calls up Dele Alli to the senior team.
October 1st 2020: England calls up Bukayo Saka to the senior team.
England no just rate us at all. https://t.co/ywRXubpqzr
— Ebuqa🇨🇦 (@ccigweze) October 1, 2020
The three Lions have dropped (devoured) Fikayo Tomori till God knows when, now they have their hands on Bukayo Saka.
Happy Independence Day Nigeria England is our Colonial Master. https://t.co/6YmEGw03Q0
— S T EF O R D ❁ (@odun42000) October 1, 2020
Ah! Bukayo Saka no gree for us. Gave us Independence Day heartbreak 😭
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) October 1, 2020
Fantastic for Bukayo Saka to be called up to the senior England squad. Perfect opportunity for other teenagers like Phil Foden and Greenwood to watch and learn from Bukayo how to behave when called upon to represent their country.
— WelBeast (@WelBeast) October 1, 2020