For their first World Cup, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham continue to impress in Qatar with the Three Lions, confirming over the matches the great hopes placed in them.

World Cup 2022, England: Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, the rising nuggets of the Three Lions

  • World Cup 2022, England: Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, the rising nuggets of the Three Lions

    England 10/12

    World Cup 2022, England: Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, the rising nuggets of the Three Lions


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A memorable ride for one, a subtle dive for the other: against Senegal (3-0), Bukayo Saka (21 years old) and Jude Bellingham (19 years old), among others, splashed this round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup for their talent and made an impression. A goal for the Arsenal striker, a decisive pass for the midfielder of Borussia Dortmund, such was the culmination for the two young stars of the Three Lions, who confirm, match after match in Qatar, the many and great expectations of the public. in Her Majesty's Kingdom. And this for their very first World Cup.

Saka is growing (again and again) in power

“The most important thing is the mentality, analyzed Gareth Southgate in a press conference after the qualification England in the quarter-finals, where they will meet France. Over the years, you have seen the work we have done in the development of young players. Mindset is paramount, as is their desire to learn and improve. They have it all. We saw it tonight, we saw it with Bukayo Saka. We felt it was the right time for them. The English coach has in any case something to be proud of and above all satisfied with these two men since the start of the 2022 World Cup.

For his first match in the World Cup, Bukayo Saka offered himself a double against Iran (6-2). If he remained on the bench against Wales (3-0), England having already validated his place for the final phase of the competition, the Gunner, who already has 3 goals on the clock for this World Cup , confirms that he is indeed one of the first choices of Southgate, to the detriment of Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish or even Mason Mount. His vivacity, his speed, his ability to eliminate and his creativity in the last third make him a formidable element for the opponents of the Three Lions, especially since he is not stingy in defensive efforts.

“Thanks for the compliment, but no, there is only one Kylian Mbappé, Saka had fun, at a press conference when he was asked if he could finish as the best young player in the World Cup, like KM7 in 2018. In the same way that there is only one player like me. I just want to be myself, help the team in the best way possible. In this World Cup, there are many quality young players, I could name a lot. Even in our team, there are a lot of young people who are performing, like Jude Bellingham. But our priority is to win the tournament, rather than to win the title of revelation of the tournament. »*

The English "in love" of Bellingham

Even if he has been irreproachable since the start of the tournament in the gas emirate, Bukayo Saka may not have made an impression as much as his compatriot Jude Bellingham. On the other side of the Channel, everyone has eyes only for him, especially after his new masterclass against the Lions. This meeting, where he became the youngest English player to start a knockout match in a major tournament since a certain Wayne Rooney, was also unlocked thanks to the BvB midfielder, decisive passer for Jordan Henderson on the opening of the score. Phil Foden did not fail to praise him at the final whistle. “I don't want to say too much because he's still young, but he's one of the most gifted players I've ever seen. He has no weaknesses in his game. I think he will be the best midfielder in the world. »

Radiant and dominant in the midfield, he exposed a little more his wide palette, both defensively and offensively. His big volume of play certainly puts him in the spotlight on the meadow, as does his ability to carry the ball, like a box-to-box which our English friends love. “The influence of Hendo (Henderson) gives Jude more influence and freedom, underlined Southgate, before drawing up his praises. You couldn't have predicted that Jude would progress so quickly. But in the past three months, he has turned a corner. Like Declan Rice who joined us at 19. […] Young people are not perfect at first. But we felt with this group and their mentality that we were going to reap the fruits of their work. They have earned their trust in these games of such importance. We want to reward them. »

A radiant youth for the Three Lions

The former glories across the Channel have also been full of praise for Bellingham. “It looks like he can do absolutely anything,”, simply dropped Gary Neville. Gary Lineker, overtaken by Harry Kane on Sunday evening, is under the spell of the former Birmingham player. “My God, Jude Bellingham is incredibly good. He is the leader of this team. His parents must be so proud. I love it”, he wrote on Twitter. “When it's a bit tight, you need a midfielder to run and produce some magic, and that's what Bellingham did there, said congratulated him Roy Keane on ITV. It's brilliant. It's what you expect from a midfielder: power, strength, anticipation, a bit of luck. »

And the former Manchester United Irish international to predict. “He's going to be a superstar, this kid. We keep using the word maturity, but he plays like he has 100 caps for England! I haven't seen a young midfielder play like this in years. » This testimony from Roy Keane says a lot about the XXL expectations placed in Jude Bellingham, but also in Bukayo Saka or even Phil Foden, members of a brilliant and very promising generation in England. While waiting to find out what the future holds for them, the Blues know what to expect next Saturday.


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