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Staying coy

Bukayo Saka plays down comparisons with Kylian Mbappe ahead of World Cup showdown with France

Bukayo Saka has laughed off comparisons to Kylian Mbappe ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final clash against France.

Both the Arsenal winger, 21, and Paris Saint-Germain striker, 23, have had good campaigns so far, with Saka scoring twice for England so far and Mbappe top scoring with five.

Saka scored for England against Senegal

Saka scored for England against Senegal

Saka, though, is more about the team than the individual.

“I think there’s only one Mbappe – and only one me. I just want to help my team. There’s a lot of young players doing well, including in our team. The priority is to win the tournament, not player of the tournament, or young player of the tournament.

“The rivalry in this World Cup is big – two nations that have performed exceptionally well. We’ve followed them and we see the quality they have. it’s going to be an exciting game. Obviously we know the quality they have, but we know our own quality also. We just have to play our best game.”

He then praised the England side’s mentality in big tournaments and is full of praise for the team’s performances in big moments.

“I think of course this [England] team has a lot players that have played in big tournaments – a lot of tournament experience. The last few tournaments we’ve done well. ‘When the big games come we have a lot of players that know what they need to do.”

France beat Poland to set up the last eight clash, with Mbappe scoring twice and setting up the other in the 3-1 win, while Saka helped England down Senegal.

Mbappe scored twice for France against Poland in the knockout game and is showing why he’s considered one of the best in the world

Mbappe scored twice for France against Poland in the knockout game and is showing why he’s considered one of the best in the world

Despite his age, Mbappe already has nine World Cup goals, having scored four in the 2018 when France became world champions.

He has 33 in 63 games in total, 19 behind Olivier Giroud’s record.

However, French journalist Julien Laurens told talkSPORT a reliance on Mbappe could be Les Bleus’ downfall.

“Kylian is clearly the best player in the world right now, but this French team is very dependent on him,” he said.

“We don’t know what happens if he’s having a bad day or if Kyle Walker defends very well.”


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