February 7, 2023

Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka has stated that if asked, he would be “more than happy” to take a penalty for England at the 2022 World Cup.

Last year’s European Championship final saw England fall to Italy on penalties with Saka missing a pivotal spot-kick. He then endured dreadful racist abuse on social internet.

Since then, the attacker has won awards for Arsenal and England, and in 2021–2022, he finished the season as the Gunners’ leading scorer.

He has also played a key role in taking Mikel Arteta’s side to the top of the Premier League and has scored three goals in Qatar to help England through to a quarter-final clash with reigning world champions France.

The 21-year-old struck twice in the opening 6-2 win over Iran and then added the third in a comfortable 3-0 victory against Senegal in the last 16 on Sunday night.

What Bukayo Saka Said Taking Penalties

With the prospect of penalties now looming over the tournament in the knockout stage, Saka insists he would not shy away from taking another high-pressure spot-kick – having scored three out of three for Arsenal since.

“I have matured and progressed a lot as a player and as a person since that moment,” he said of his miss against Italy.

“I would not have stepped up the times I have stepped up for Arsenal to take a penalty if I wasn’t confident, so if the moment comes and I am selected to take a penalty, I am more than happy to.

“To be honest, I feel like personally, I’ve tried to move on from that moment.

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“Obviously I know I can never really forget about it, it is going to be in history.

“But at the same time, coming out here and scoring those three goals, of course, lifted me a lot. Like I keep saying, the love from the fans that I keep receiving lifts me a lot as well.

“It gives me a lot of confidence and I love to see that from the fans.”

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