Bukayo Saka has been named England’s Player of the Year, beating out Declan Rice and Harry Kane.
Saka scored 11 goals and provided seven assists for Arsenal in the Premier League last season, playing in every game and establishing himself as one of the most exciting English talents around.
His accomplishments at the club level have also helped him earn a spot in the England team. Since last September, the 21-year-old has played nine times, making three goals and two assists.
He has now received recognition for his outstanding performances by being named the Player of the Year for the national team.
The winger received more votes from England voters than Rice and Kane, who came in second and third, respectively.
When he entered, he assumed it would be a typical press conference with journalists but instead found himself participating in a surprise Q&A session with a local young grassroots team.
He was handed the trophy and replied, “No way. “Honestly, I did not anticipate this, so yes, I’m honored. It’s very lovely.
“I’m so happy. I can’t put into words how happy I am. It’s really nice to be awarded this trophy.”
Saka becomes the youngest recipient of the award and the first member of the Arsenal team to do so since its inception in 2003.
It happens shortly after he was also recognized as his club’s Player of the Season for the second straight year.
The England award was won by Kalvin Phillips last year, and Wayne Rooney has won it four times more than anyone else.