Jose Mourinho has hit back at Gary Neville for saying Arsenal star Bukayo Saka should be dropped for England’s Euro 2020 clash against Italy on Sunday.
The teenager has been outstanding for the Three Lions every time he has been given a chance. He set up England’s equaliser against Denmark, and the whole country has been raving about how good this kid is.
However, Neville, who just can’t hide his Manchester United bias, made a shock claim about Saka yesterday. He urged Gareth Southgate to drop the Arsenal man on Sunday in favour of more experienced players like Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho. (Read here)
He believes that a game of Sunday’s magnitude will be too much for young Saka, but Mourinho has hit back at the Sky Sports pundit by claiming that experience has nothing to do with age.
Mourinho: Bukayo Saka will not be dropped
Mourinho told TalkSport this morning: “I played an 18-year-old player in a Champions League final and he is still the youngest player to score in a Champions League final. No problem.
“Of course, we coaches normally we think about all these details. But, in the end, when we make these kind of decisions we are sure of what we are doing and Southgate had no problem to do that, not only with Saka but also with other players giving them chances to play.
“The kid is proving my experience theory, which is experience has nothing to do with age. Experience has a lot to do with the way you think, the way you live, and the kid had a good experience in the best league in the world, in the most competitive league in the world, playing at a big club like Arsenal every weekend.
“He is showing great personality and I don’t think Gareth (Southgate) is going to leave him out.”
The Insider’s View:
Who would’ve ever thought that Arsenal fans would agree with Jose Mourinho about something? The former Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United boss is absolutely spot on, and we hope Gary Neville is listening.
Saka is a generational talent. He has been playing well beyond his years for a while now, and there is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that the teenager should start against Italy in the final.
Southgate has been put under pressure by the media to use the likes of Sancho and Jack Grealish. They’re both exceptional players, but Saka has delivered when he has been given a chance, and we don’t expect the England boss to make any change in that position on Sunday.