Bukayo Saka has rejected the notion that he might be the “next Kylian Mbappe” as England prepare to take on France in the World Cup quarter-finals this weekend.
After beating Senegal 3-0 on Sunday evening, England’s next problem is towards the reigning World Cup champions – spearheaded by talisman Mbappe in assault.
Four years in the past at the World Cup in Russia, Mbappe was simply 19 years previous when he helped fireplace France to the title – successful the FIFA Young Player of the Tournament for his 4 objectives scored – whereas he additionally grew to become simply the second teenager to rating in a World Cup closing.
When Saka was requested if he seems like he is having an identical match to the France ahead 4 years in the past, the 21-year-old replied: “Thank you for the compliment but no. There’s only one Kylian Mbappe.
“At the identical time, there’s just one me. I need to be myself and assist the workforce in the finest means I can.
“There are so many younger gamers in the match, I can title so many. Even in our workforce, there is a younger participant who’s doing unbelievably properly in Jude Bellingham.
“I’m just happy we are all here and doing well. The priority is to win the tournament, not be player or young player of the tournament.”
When requested extra about Mbappe’s standing in the sport, Saka replied: “For me he’s one of the best players in the world. He’s up there.
“Of course we know the quality he has and as a team we have to prepare to try and stop him. France have a lot of other quality players and we need to be aware of that.”
‘I’ll be very happy to take a penalty’
The prospect of a penalty shootout rests over Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final ought to the sport, as anticipated, be too shut to name.
Saka and Mbappe know full properly the heartache that might include a shootout defeat. The England winger missed the essential spot kick as they misplaced the Euro 2020 closing to Italy final summer time, whereas Mbappe suffered the identical destiny as France crashed out of the identical match towards Switzerland in the last-16 stage.
Saka, who was racially abused on social media after the closing towards Italy, is not solely Arsenal’s first-choice penalty taker at membership degree however is England’s joint-top scorer at this World Cup with three objectives.
The 21-year-old admits he has matured so much since the incident at Wembley final 12 months and has no qualms in stepping up to the spot in a significant match for England once more.
“I’ve obviously matured and progressed a lot since that moment,” Saka mentioned. “I wouldn’t have stepped up in the times take penalties for Arsenal if I wasn’t confident. If the moment comes and I’m selected to take one, I’ll be more than happy to.
“To be honest, I feel like personally I’ve tried to move on from that moment. I know I can never really forget as it’s going to be in history but at the same time coming out here and scoring those three goals has lifted me a lot.
“I hold saying the love from the followers that I hold receiving lifts me so much and provides me lots of confidence. I like to see this from the followers.”
Mbappe: I need the World Cup, not Golden Boot
French star Mbappe is presently main the race for the Golden Boot with 5 objectives, two forward of his nearest rivals which embrace England duo Saka and Marcus Rashford.
The 23-year-old scored two objectives and arrange one other as France beat Poland 3-1 to arrange the England quarter-final, however Mbappe insists he is not trying at the goalscorers’ chart on this match.
“To be honest, no,” Mbappe replied when requested if he wished the Golden Boot prize. “The only objective for me is to win the World Cup and winning the quarter-final is the most important thing.
“That’s what I dream of, it is the solely factor and the solely cause I got here right here. I did not come right here to win the Golden Ball or Golden Boot.
“If I win it, great. But I’m here to win and to help the French national team.”