Bukayo Saka happy to be put on spot by England at World Cup

Three Lions forward suffered penalty misery at Euro 2020 but says he will not hesitate if needed for shootout in Qatar

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Bukayo Saka has insisted he is “more than happy” to be put on the spot by England should they require a penalty shootout to beat France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Saka suffered penalty heartache when he missed the decisive kick as England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy in a shootout, which also saw Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho fail to score at Wembley Stadium.

But this has not stopped Saka from stepping up and scoring from the spot for club side Arsenal since then and the 21-year-old will not hesitate if required to take one in Qatar.

“I've obviously matured and progressed a lot as a person and as a player since that moment,” said Saka, who scored his third goal of tournament in England's 3-0 last-16 win over Senegal on Sunday.

“I wouldn't have stepped up to take a penalty for Arsenal the times I've stepped up if I wasn't confident.

“If the moment comes and I'm selected to take one, I will be more than happy to.”

Saka also insists England have nothing to fear as they take on the reigning world champions at Al Bayt Stadium.

France eased into the last eight after beating Poland 3-1 on Sunday, a win that saw Olivier Giroud become the national team's all-time top scorer and Kylian Mbappe grab a double that took up him out in front in the Golden Boot race with five goals.

But Saka believes England have more than enough quality throughout the team to cause the French problems at both ends of the pitch.

“If you look at our first four games, we had three clean sheets. That shows how solid we are at the back and we have scored the most goals as well.

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“I feel we have just got to prepare the best game plan and go there with confidence. We are playing really good right now.

“There is no doubt about the quality we have in our team. We are blessed with an amazing front line. There are so many quality attacking players.

“When you are selected, it shows how much confidence the boss has in you so that gives you that extra confidence to go out and shine. Last night [Sunday], we were able to do that.”

And Saka feels that the success Gareth Southgate's side have achieved both in World Cups and European Championships shows that they a force to be reckoned with.

“There's a lot of tournament experience [in the squad] now,” he added.

“If you look at the results from the last few tournaments we've been in, we've got to a semi-final, a final and a quarter-final.

“So when the big games come, we have a lot of players who know what they need to do.”

Updated: December 06, 2022, 4:48 AM