Arsenal’s Saka names the player who impressed him most in England training

Bukayo Saka has heaped praise on Jack Grealish, claiming the Aston Villa star caught his eye with a dazzling display during his first England training session.

Saka was called up to the Three Lions squad for the first time last month and made his debut in the 3-0 victory over Wales, starting as a wing-back behind left-winger Grealish.

Both players have also been named in Gareth Southgate's squad for England's upcoming matches – against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland – just days after the Gunners hosted Villa at the Emirates.

Grealish impressed during a 3-0 win for the visitors, picking up an assist, and Saka admits he was well aware of the 25-year-old's quality heading into the match.

"He’s a top player," Saka said. "When I came here the first time he was the player who impressed me the most in training.

"Before we played against Villa at the weekend we analysed him and picked him out as one of their main threats and he showed it in the game.

"He was amazing from start to finish, so it’s going to be good to play with him and not against him this week.

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Saka also recalled how England captain Harry Kane made him welcome at St George's Park after he was called up to the squad for the first time.

The 19-year-old added: "All the boys have been so good with me from the first minute I came in. Harry Kane put his arm around me, he spoke to me and asked me how I was.

"For him to do that, it helped me settle in much quicker and made me feel comfortable to be myself around everyone.

Does Bukayo Saka make it into England's first-choice XI? Have your say here.

"That helps me not just off the pitch but also on the pitch too, because I feel like I can be myself, express myself and play with the confidence that I play with back at my club."

Saka is determined to justify his spot among Southgate's selections and opened up on his desire to feature at next summer's European Championships.

"It’s been amazing to have the faith of the manager and for him to recall me to this camp," said Saka.

"When I got the text, I was so happy again and I just want to do my best here. ‘In the games and opportunities he gives me, I want to give my all on the pitch and I hope I can repay the faith he has shown in me.

"Games against Belgium are the type of games you want to play in as a player – the big games, the games that mean the most.

"It’s not just that game, though, every time I get an opportunity to show how good I am, hopefully I can do my best and hopefully get picked for the Euros."

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