World Cup 2022: Bukayo Saka insists he's not the next Kylian Mbappe

Bukayo Saka celebrates his goal for England against Senegal at the 2022 World Cup.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As England prepare to face France in the quarter-final of the World Cup 2022, there is a growing focus on how Gareth Southgate's side will try and stop Kylian Mbappe from running the show. 

But France's coaching staff will be having headaches of their own, especially given the electric form of Three Lions forward Bukayo Saka. The Arsenal winger has three goals in the competition already - just two shy of top scorer Mbappe - and has been playing with a swagger few defenders have been able to cope with. 

Yet comparisons with Mbappe were swatted away by Saka in the build up to England vs France. 

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"Thank you for the compliment but no," the 21 year old insisted. "There's only one Kylian Mbappe. At the same time, there's only one me. I want to be myself and help the team in the best way I can.

"There are so many young players in the tournament," Saka continued. "I can name so many. Even in our team, there's a young player who's doing unbelievably well 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."

Yet Saka was full of compliments about Mbappe, who he believes belongs to the elite band of players at the very top of world football. 

"For me he's one of the best players in the world," Saka commented. "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."

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.