Saka Gets First England Senior Team Invitation

Saka Gets First England Senior Team Invitation

Nigeria’s hopes of luring Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka to play for the country could eventually be dashed after he was handed his first England senior national team call-up on Thursday, Completesports.com reports.

Saka was included in England manager Gareth Southgate’s 30-man squad, for their Nations League games against Belgium and Denmark and a friendly against Wales during the international break.

The 19-year-old is one of 12 defenders which has the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool, Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, called up for the games.

Saka has featured just three times for Arsenal during this campaign but broke into the first-team and impressed while playing at full-back for the Gunners last season.

Also Read: 15 Golden Sporting Moments Of Nigeria At 60

Everton’s in form striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Harvey Barnes of Leicester City have also been handed their first senior England call-ups.

After hitting a career-best 15 goals last term, Calvert-Lewin’s impressive start to the new campaign has propelled Everton to three wins from three in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old is the Premier League’s joint-leading goalscorer with five, and also scored a hat-trick for the Toffees in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over West Ham.

Barnes meanwhile has helped Leicester to the top of the early Premier League table, with the 22-year-old scoring in the Foxes’ win over Burnley.

As expected, Southgate has left out Mason Greenwood of Manchester United and Phil Foden of Manchester City after the pair were sent home from Iceland last month for breaching coronavirus protocols by meeting up with two women inside the public areas of the team hotel.

United captain Harry Maguire has been recalled, after he was dropped from the last squad following his convictions for assault and attempted bribery in a Greek court, which he has since appealed with the convictions nullified ahead of a full retrial.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also named in the squad despite picking up an injury issue in the Reds’ win over Chelsea.

England squad in full


Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Nick Pope (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Everton).


Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).


Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Harry Winks (Tottenham).


Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Harvey Barnes (Leicester), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Danny Ings (Southampton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

By James Agberebi

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  • Walking 4 years ago

    My observation from this list…

    There is just one player(Sancho)that plays outside England.

    Again, is Tomori long forgotten?

  • i thought i will see Dele Alli’s name on the list, so disappointing. if he had played for nigeria,he will still be relevant by now. But they will never listen and they will never learn from their predecessors. It is my prayer Tammy Abraham and others that are happy playing for England or other European countries after turning down the chance to represent Nigeria, will not regret their unpatriotic decision soon. Am though happy for Akpogunma.

  • Professor 4 years ago

    Is a bye bye to saka bukayo

  • Ikeben 4 years ago

    It is now left for him to decide, NFF has done all they can do to get him. In fact, according to owngoal, he has been given deadline to begin his switch, if he wants to join the world cup party. It is left for him.

    But the temptation of Southgate is not small at all.

    Wherever he chooses, I will not hold it against him. His still our ambassador

    • greenturf 4 years ago

      He has already decided long ago hence the delay with Nigeria.A player who wants to play for Nigeria does so without much ado.

      When a player says give me time to make my mind up then get rest assured you are only there as plan B and that’s the case with Saka.

      He’s on the list because his allegiance is with England,Nigeria was a plan B but he should have been honest from the on set.

      So the battle for this quality lefty is gone probably for good.We should move on from Saka and hopefully someone better in that position will emerge soon if not has already.

  • Am not sure if they actually need Saka, they just want to quickly tie the young lad down. This is the handy work of Northgate hooo sorry jare Southgate i mean.

  • greenturf 4 years ago

    He has already decided long ago hence the delay with Nigeria.A player who wants to play for Nigeria does so without much ado.

    When a player says give me time to make my mind up then get rest assured you are only there as plan B and that’s the case with Saka.

    He’s on the list because his allegiance is with England,Nigeria was a plan B but he should have been honest from the on set.

    So the battle for this quality lefty is gone probably for good.We should move on from Saka and hopefully someone better in that position will emerge soon if not has already.

  • @BOS he will cos this is d same way some of you are treating those that committed to play for Nigeria for example Iwobi, Mosses etc.. They were always being criticised and judged unfairly just because they had little problem or loss of form in their various club.

    • @Tayo, Abraham was called a monkey after choosing England. What do you have to say about that?

  • D-cardinal 4 years ago

    We have better version of him in this country from Aba to jos down to Lagos ,every where.we need to look inwards and stop falling our hands begging this guys to play for us.we are Nigeria the most populous black nation in the world.I wish him the best but he will regret his decision las las.

  • I’m so pissed with this Northgate man right now. What happened to Dele Alli and Tomori? Forgotten so soon? Even Abraham is only playing bit-part roles in club and adopted country. Same fate likely awaits the bright, young man, Saka.

    And didn’t someone point Northgate to Eze? Or he forgot to captie him too? Wasting young players in the early stages or primes of their careers, when they could have grown and flourished with Nigeria up to their twilight years like Ahmed Musa.

    Anyway, the English press are starting to grumble about his laboured plays and poor results in recent times. Might be time he gets the boot. I wish NFF could organise a friendly with England again soon.

  • Oakfield 4 years ago

    Did we ever miss john fashunu? No. Did we miss dele Ali? No! Did we miss ogbonna ?? No. Did we miss Abraham? No. Did we miss tomori??? No. Did fashunu miss us? O yes. Did Ali miss u? Yes. Did ogbonna miss us? Of course. Did Abraham miss us? Just in a giffy, the signs are already there. Did Tomori miss us?? Hell ya, in fact he’s currently wishing if he could turn back the hands of the clock. We ain’t gonna miss this dude, so, make him jejelly go him way.. We never lack better replacements.

    • @Oakfield, I don’t think these guys miss Nigeria. What is it to miss about Nigeria? What has become of all the prayers that played for us? Most of them are living in penury apart from those that made good money during their playing days and made a good investment. Look at the faith of Siasia. Be informed that John Fashanu is still paid pension till tomorrow from English FA. Who among the mate of John Fashnu is living better than John Fashanu after playing for Nigeria. The tomorrow of a Nigerian is not guaranteed only today except you are in politics.

      • Well my brother, all fingers are not equal. We have foreign (white) footballers that u will hardly believe they have ever played for their country due to their current state/Struggles and people like Okocha, Kanu, Ikpeba, Yakubu even Martins and others don’t need federal Government or NFF support because they are Ok and their fortune started after they played for us.
        Foreign born like Sydney Sam, Onuoha, Fashanu, Carlton Cole, John Salako once came out to make confession of their regrets for turning down Nigeria.
        And if not for Keshi, Shola Ameobi might have done the same so who says they don’t miss us?
        Saka will always be my man anytime any day but we have some footballers that play for the pride of their country only without expecting any support.
        We have ..
        Chukwueze, Simon, Ejuke, Musa, Bazee, Kalu, Dennis, Onyekuru, and others that are fighting hard to die on the pitch for us. Iwobi was brought up in England and up till date, before you name first five players to arrive camp for any match, he will be there so. I wish him(Sakai) well but we won’t miss him. That I’m sure.
        Happy Independent day.

      • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

        God bless you let this morons keep pleasing themselves when we know say e dey pain them say these guys no don green and white. Lamo Nigerians are comedians never admitting truth no wonder I read all sort of fake comments backed with multiple likes from like minded thinkers like Oakfield…

        If an Okocha or Kanu was playing for a Portuguese team we know how many baloon d or he would have won. Guys who Naija help make una stop this fake feelings and better caution your leaders to get things right instead of consoling your fake egos…

        • Oakfield 4 years ago

          @chima samuels, do you know you’re such a miserable sorry ass fellow. If it pains u that saka didnt choose to play for us is your own fu…cking biz. If you like have a heart attack bcs of him, if you die as a result u die alone. U can’t speak for others and u can’t force or compel others to feel the same way a u do. And for the likes and dislikes matter, u just suck big time. What is it with u and the number of likes someone gets? Do you read someone’s post or busy to jump and check the number of likes one has gotten whilst comparing it with yours?? Na ur type dy cry for midnite if your fellow Classmates get A while u get F during school days. You go dy ask urself why dem no get the F wey u get. U such a miserable jealous entity that needs urgent help. Saka’s decision to play for england changes nothing. U can go ahead having ur heart attack, that’s ur fu… Cking biz.

          • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

            Your father is a miserable idiot I should have ignored a lunatic less privilege ingrate like you who has nothing to loose trading insults with me. No be your fault son of a bitch…..

        • Oakfield 4 years ago

          Mother f…cker like you. Your entire generation are generic imbeciles and that includes you. In fact, you are an hyper active imbecile that needs help. Anu offia nwa muo like you. God punish you there. Dy there and be counting likes and dislikes intead of reading comments and contribute sensibly. Ewu gambia.

  • Good to hear saka is delighted over his first England call up so DAT complete sports go give us news about Nigeria players not English players

  • Dr. Drey 4 years ago

    Ken Ochonogor’s tweet 100% captures my personal opinion about this:

    “…@kenochonogor : “BUKAYO SAKA: Why Cry Over His England Call-up? Is he talented? YES. Has England invested and developed him? YES. Do we have players his age who are as talented in Nigeria? YES. Have we invested and developed those players in Nigeria? NO”…”
    Enough of the noise about saka or no saka. The kid played at the U17 WC 3 years ago…the same U17WC which our terrible football administration made us not to qualify for. We didnt go chasing after him then, we waited until he has hit the limelight and started running shamelessly after him. He has the liberty to choose or determine his future and no one should dare question it.

    Qualifiers for the next U17 AFCON is in less than 3 weeks, and with no team on ground yet we are just naming a coach who has been out of job for a while after over ” 1 year of screening ” contracted to a consulting company, when the technical committee and the technical study group in the NFF has not met since 2017 and 2018 respectively.

    If this was how they operate in England, Germany, Spain (and every other places where we run to to chase kids to come and play for us) do their own things too, those kids wouldnt even emerge for us to chase all over the place.

    • Thank you/ Dr. Drey well said. The kid is planning for his future. I read guys here saying he is unpatriotic. Unpatriotic to who? Nigeria who never cared about him until he became a star? funny the way some people reason.

      • Who cared about Ayayi, Iwobi, Moses etc before they turned out for us? That’s not an excuse.

        Yes, everyone is free to make his or her choice and I hold no grudges against that, you decide to go the way you are most comfortable with, and that’s the case with saka, so the kid should be left alone.

        Either he regrets his actions or not is no one business. Most of us commenting here are working in diaspora, so what should we call that? Patriotism?

        The same reason why we travel for greener pasture is the same reason the kid decided to go with his heart. But nobody should make excuses for him

  • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

    Am disappointed.

    Am disappointed with Bukayo Saka. Disappointed with The NFF who ought to have taken steps concerning him before he came to limelight. Truth be told, we just lost a good player who would have been an added advantage to our squad for World Cup 2022 and 2021 AFCON But we’re still good. Sanusi, Collins, Aina, Ebuehi are OK for me. If not for Injury, Ebuehi is not in same level with Saka at all. Forget the fact that Saka plays for Arsenal.. lucky him. I so have high hopes for Ebuehi. There’s greatness in him and Top Clubs will be gunning for him soon so far he stays Injury free then Saka would be a long forgotten story.

    Now am pleading with CSN to please free us from any news that has to do with SAKA, EZE, TAMMY, TOMORI. Thanks

    • Vince 4 years ago

      Saka as a left full back for Nigeria is a no no, he can’t play with African opposition’s.
      Saka as a winger or winger back for Nigeria oh yes, as he is better than what we have as he can deliver crosses to pin point Osimhen.

      In all, my intel told me that Southgate invited him to observe the English team only, he will not be featured as his heart is with Nigeria

    • Patrator 4 years ago

      As much as I’m pained we’re losing Saka to England, I wish him all the very best as that’s his choice.

      I laugh while reading comments of some folks in here pretending they are not moved with this news, it’s normal if you’re not happy with it, but wish the lad well.

      And for people talking about foreign born players that chose Nigeria over those foreign countries,

      I personally do appreciate those guys commitment but the truth of the matter is that about 90% of them wouldn’t have committed to Nigeria if they are really sure of themselves, most of them knew they had the very slimiest chance of getting a call up from that foreign country, and knowing the importance of being part of a national team, they’ll gladly choose Nigeria and we start celebrating such switches… example of these players are Udokhai and his counterparts in bundesliga, the likes of Lookman, Akpom, Adarabioyo and even dessers … there’s nothing really interesting about associating oneself with Nigeria not even when you have an opportunity to claim another better country. Many of us wouldn’t have been any different from these Tomori, Abraham, Eze and the likes or the group of Udokhai,so let’s be realistic pls.

  • Edoguy 4 years ago

    My take on this;

    You cant blame any player for watching over himself and his old age. I heard that England pays pension to any player that has represented the country in one way or the other. These players do not care about playing long term for England. Just one cap is enough to guarantee a future after playing football.

    Also, review Osimhen’s history. He was on the street hawking newspapers and playing football. Iheanacho the same thing. These players will choose any other team if they have the choice.

    I heard that Pinnick say that all talents have been identified that need to be identified. This statement I disagree with, though I like the good work Pinnick is doing. We have a problem with talent identification and development. We put u17 out there and we hope that they find their way to Europe to play champions league football. This is bad!!!! Africa needs to develop its talent.

    Can Nigeria bring NPFL players that will beat the MLS team or Chinese super league team; NOOOOOO!!!

    Why does Enyimba not have a feeders team of u13, u17, u18 and u19. Why do we not have a junior league. Why are our u17s not given any chance to go on tour so we can see different u17 faces???

    Our clubs need to do their social responsibility, train talents, teach them and equip them to survive in the modern world. Play local tournaments.
    Our NPFL teams cannot even beat Supersport united of South Africa!!

  • Full list of players who dumped Nigeria for England

    1.John Fashanu
    2.Ugo Ehiogu(late)
    3.Chris Armstrong
    4.John Salako
    5.Gabriel Agbonlahor
    6.Dele Alli
    7.Ross Barkley
    8.Fikayo Tomori
    9.Tammy Abraham
    and now
    10.Bukayo Saka

    Dominic Solanke has one cap for England earned in an international friendly. Although they did not play for the Three Lions,Nedum Onuoha,George Ndah,Dele Adebola also rejected Nigeria’s overtures in the past.Shola Ameobi retraced his steps in time to feature for Nigeria at the FIFA World Cup after spurning several attempts to lure him.

    I always had the premonition that the quartet of Bukayo Saka(Arsenal FC),Eberechi Eze(Crystal Palace),Jordon Ibe(Derby County) and Dominic Solanke(AFC Bournemouth) will go the way of Tammy Abraham,Fikayo Tomori,Dele Alli and Ross Barkley in dumping the Super Eagles for the The Three Lions of England. The truth is that their minds are not with Nigeria.The way they have treated our approach left much to be desired and should have alerted our scouting team that something was in the offing.

    However,concerted efforts should be made to invite and cap-tie the following players to Nigeria before England poach them and then it becomes too late. It doesn’t matter whether they presently play in the Premier League,the Sky Bet Championship or elsewhere.

    1.Chuba Akpom(Middlesbrough FC,England)-Striker
    2.Ademola Lookman(Fulham FC,England)-Striker/Winger
    3.Tosin Adarabioyo(Liverpool FC,England)-Defender
    4.Josh Onomah(Fulham FC,England)-Midfielder
    5.Dominic Iorfa Jr.(Shieffeld Wednesday FC,England)-Defender
    6.Ovie Ejaria(Reading FC,England)-Midfielder
    7.Nathan Tella(Southampton FC,England)-Midfielder/Winger
    8.Nnamdi Ofoborh(AFC Bournemouth,England)-Midfielder/Defender
    9.Bright Osayi-Samuel(Queens Park Rangers,England)-Striker/Winger
    10.Calvin Bassey(Glasgow Rangers,Scotland)-Defender (Left Back)
    11.Sheyi Ojo(Cardiff City,Wales)-Winger/Midfielder
    12.Sammy Ameobi(Nottingham Forest,England)-Striker/Winger
    13.Osaze Urhoghide(Sheffield Wednesday, England)-Defender
    14.Moses Odubajo(Sheffield Wednesday, England)-Defender
    15.Tom Dele-Bashiru(Watford FC ,England)-Midfielder
    16.Fisayo Dele-Bashiru(Sheffield Wednesday, England)-Midfielder
    17.Ike Ugbo(Cercle Brugge,Belgium)-Striker
    18.Dennis Adeniran(Wycombe Wanderers, England)-Striker
    19.Hakeem Odofin(Hamilton Academical,Scotland)-Defender
    20.Jubril Okedina(Tottenham Hotspur, England)-Defender
    21.Emmanuel Idem(Derby County,England)-Goalkeeper
    22.Arthur Okonkwo(Arsenal FC,England)-Goalkeeper
    23.Joshua Oluwayemi(Tottenham Hotspur, England)-Goalkeeper
    24.Adetayo Edun(Lincoln City,England)
    25.Nathaniel Ogbeta(Chelsea FC,England)-Midfielder
    26.Faustino Anjorin(Chelsea FC,England)-Midfielder

    Something tells me the English football authorities are yet to get over the loss of Victor Moses,Alex Iwobi,Ola Aina etc to Nigeria and the gaffer,Gareth Southgate ,has been in the forefront of recruiting Nigeria,-born players who have gone through the English development system for the Three Lions. At Bukayo Saka’s age,he is being fast -tracked to the Three Lions the same way Didier Deschamps recently cap-tied Eduardo Camavinga who has both Angolan and DR Congo’s origins to France.

    • Anonymous 4 years ago

      Spot on o @Hillary. Let them do and cap tie them ok because we nor know who go blow next now and go begin form Star boy for NIGERIA

  • Carlton Cole should be included in the list of players who dumped Nigeria for England, please.

  • GLORY 4 years ago


  • Baba na baba 4 years ago

    Eeeh even this one I had so much confidence in,when he spoke of his root, England manager even said he didn’t even speak to him not to talk of convincing him haba,now I know,whosoever England want they get whosoever they don’t want we get simple.

  • Dr Banks 4 years ago

    Guys it’s not bye bye yet to SAKA, God is giving him a second chance to retrace his steps towards Nigeria…….he has just cupped a Hamstring injury now and substituted on 85′ of the match. This might possibly rule him out for this International break.

    • Unicorn 4 years ago

      Dr Bankssss…u nor dey see news say the boy don come out talk say “I’m honoured and excited to be called up”?? Meaning even if He changes his mind tomorrow which I doubt strongly, He has already lost the Support of 150Million/200 Million Nigerians.

    • He is not needed again. He should wait for England.

  • Sunnyb 4 years ago

    Bukayo, thank you for dumping the Fulani republic, a country taken over by bandits, terrorists, looters are dreaming of good things, they should go and spend money to develop talents in sambisa forest to represent them. And for those condemning the young boy, I think you guys should go and ask Okwaraji family how market. 

    • Some people’s comment can be very funny and immature sometimes. What has Fulani republic has to do with this story. What about all those who have chosen us and have reaped the benefits. Can you take such talks away from this discussion. Saka will fade out of relevance in England soon. It’s always the case. Asking him to play for us is our own way of helping him. We have enough talents. Nff did well to scout for him. Let him go out of relevance with England like others before him. Eze next on the line. Nff gas even given them deadline to start the switch or they won’t be able to represent Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with players. Will Saka come and just walk into the first team like that. Let’s stop over praising these players joo. We have seen how it usually takes time for some of them to adjust to African football whenever they first arrive. Let’s concentrate on the ones we have joo

  • Olusegun.B. 4 years ago

    As people who love the game so much , we should learn to respect the decisions made by players who made choices for which tram they want to play for. Saka has made his and we should respect it. We have players before Saka and they were products of the local league. Dessers remember chose Nigeria above Belgium and Belgium didn’t have to shout out foul over the matter. Let’s have faith in the team that we’re building
    I wish Saka good luck .

    • greenturf 4 years ago

      Dessers has never been a priority for Belgium.If he was in the class of Lukaku or Merten it would be a different case.At the moment he’s struggling in Belgium,besides Belgium don’t look to players who plys their trade in Holland for invitations where incidentally he finished joint top scorer last season.

  • Gentleman, the boy have made his decision and that ought to be respected by all.In all sincerity, In aresenal he was great but in the SE, who is he really displacing? Plus Rohr was never too enthusiastic in having him and I understand why. To me he got called up to be cup tied to increase the pool in the absence of Foden and Mason Greenwood.If this two guys are back following their antics in Iceland, we will see how it goes for him, we wish him well but I am not losing sleep just like the case with Eze.

    But the NFF should cover their faces in shame? What has happened to the once conveyor belt that throws up quality young players from the U17, U20 and U23?.Nepotism, tribalism, Players imposition have killed the process so much so that we want to reap were we did not sow.England invested heavily in the developmental process of these players and so it is only fair that they have the right of first refusals on the players.

    Thankfully, the NFF seems to have waken up with the recent appointment of coaches for our youth teams. Real grass root coaches to be supervised by no nonsense veterans like Ladan Bosso and Fatai Amoo.The NFF and the Nigerian elites must be warned to stop player imposition on the coaches.Equally important is the resuscitation of the principal cup for secondary schools.

    I also advise the introduction of youth leagues and youth FA cup so that our clubs will have functional academy as the senior teams are going for matches, they go along with the youth teams who plays before the main teams.

    That way, we will have a good pool and a very good conveyor belt to produce players for the SE, instead of going to beg the foreign born players to come play for us.

    Manu Garba was excellent at producing young talents until the usual Nigerian factors caught up with him and he totally lost focus. Who can remember the names of 5 of the players he took to Brazil? Or the glaringly ineffective and bribe taking Paul Aibogun? Who can remember 2 members of the U20 squad that he took to Poland less than 2 years ago? These players should be knocking on the SE door by now.

    Some soul searching for the NFF.

  • @Tayo,every players on this planet,talk of Ronaldo, Messi etc get criticised anytime they did not do better,they did not because of that say they wont play again. Victor Moses voluntarily retire from the national team, according to him,to focus on his football club career and to allow young ones come into play. So it is no excuse to decide to play for other countries where there chances will be limited and their career cut short. Messi has been severally criticized by football loving Argentina fans yet he did not say he will not play for his country,that is what is called undying loyalty.If Tomori is your brother,though your country man,you will be, by now sorry for him for the rash dicision he took to play for the Three Lions of England

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