Gary Neville and Ian Wright were left hailing Bukayo Saka after the Arsenal man was included in England’s squad to face Denmark.
The young winger was handed another start by Gareth Southgate at Wembley Stadium for the Three Lions’ semi-final meeting.
According to Opta, his selection meant that he became the youngest-ever player to start for England in the semi-finals or later of a major tournament.
Despite his age, both Wright and Neville have insisted that Southgate’s faith in the Arsenal utility man is well deserved due to his eye-catching appearances for his club.
Talking on ITV, former Gunner Wright said: “We’re talking about someone that joined Arsenal’s academy at age 7.
“He’s progressed through, he’s always been somebody that’s played at a higher level. He’s played for England since he was 16, he’s played at every level.
“He’s not just arrived here, he’s somebody that was destined to do what he’s doing right now.
“That’s why everyone at Arsenal knows what he’s capable of, and we’re seeing it right now.”
Neville on Saka [Arsenal]: “It’s a massive achievement, but I think it’s typical of Gareth’s reign, where he’s ripped up the rule book.
Meanwhile, having also caught the eye for the Three Lions previously in the tournament, Neville was also pleased that Saka was selected from the start.
He said: “You don’t have to be a starting player for a club, you don’t have to be at a fashionable club, you don’t have to be at a Champions League club, you don’t even have to be the most popular with the media or with the fans.
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“If you’re in form in training, he’ll pick you in a game, and it’s paying off.
“The lads that are out on the pitch are the ones who have been in the best form, and Saka’s been electric in the games that he’s played.
“I was happy he was rested for the game on Saturday, but tonight he should be absolutely flying.”