Tottenham Hotspur’s James Maddison has gifted Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka a ‘special’ birthday present after linking up for England duty to kick off the international break.

The Three Lions face Ukraine and Scotland in their September schedule over the next week. Gareth Southgate’s side take on the Blue and Yellow in a Euro 2024 qualifier before hosting the Tartan Army in a friendly. Saka scored as England beat Ukraine at Wembley this March.

Harry Kane broke the deadlock as England continued their unbeaten Group C campaign with a 2-0 win over Ukraine. Saka also assisted the striker and swiftly stretched the scoreline with his eighth England goal. He has since reached 11 after a hat-trick against North Macedonia.

England Men's Player of the Year 2022/23 Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates scoring vs Ukraine
Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Bukayo Saka shined with England and at Arsenal in 2022/23

Saka will now look to add to his tally of 11 goals and seven assists in 28 caps after Southgate named the Arsenal ace in his latest England squad. The forward has also produced at a very high level for the Gunners in 2023. He has scored 10 and assisted seven goals in 31 games.

The Hale Ender has offered two of his goals and two assists for Arsenal in 2023 through five appearances during the 2023/24 season. While he ended the 2022/23 term with 15 goals in 48 games, along with 11 assists. No Gunners player outscored or outcreated Saka last term.

England Men's Player of the Year 2022/23 Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring for Arsenal
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Kane, meanwhile, is the only England player to outscore Saka with seven goals to four since the last September international break. Saka scored three and assisted one goal during the World Cup as England reached the quarter-finals. He started each of his four appearances.

James Maddison gifts Bukayo Saka a ‘special’ birthday present

Such has been the brilliance that Saka has produced with England and at Arsenal in 2022/23 that the Three Lions have now named the forward as their Player of the Year. It is the second time in a row that the attacker has won the award. Fans vote on who should win the award.

Supporters voted Saka ahead of Real Madrid ace Jude Bellingham and Bayern Munich striker Kane for the 2022/23 trophy. And England got new Tottenham playmaker Maddison to hand Saka the Player of the Year award on the day the Arsenal gem celebrated his 22nd birthday.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder James Maddison gifts Bukayo Saka the England Men's Player of the Year 2022/23 award of Arsenal forward's birthday
Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Maddison gifted Saka with the 2022/23 England Player of the Year award at the Three Lions’ training session on Tuesday. The 26-year-old, who joined Spurs from Leicester City in June for £40m, also sealed it with a kiss on the forehead in a clip England shared on Instagram.

“It’s actually Bukayo Saka’s birthday today,” Maddison said during the social media clip. “So, we are going to surprise him with a little present that we’ve sorted. He is the Men’s Player of the Year connected by EE for the second year running. But he doesn’t know, yet.”

The Tottenham midfielder then told the Arsenal forward: “I’m hearing it’s a very special day. Just a little present from us… For the second year running, Bukayo is the Men’s Player of the Year connected by EE. So, congratulations brother and happy birthday. Well done, mate.”

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