Saka handled the heartbreak of missing the decisive penalty in last summer’s Euro 2020 final against Italy with impressive dignity, even in the face of the racist abuse he suffered on social media.
The 20-year-old recovered from that blow to deliver his most productive season in an Arsenal shirt and is a rumoured target of both Manchester City and Liverpool.
Arsenal remain confident they will tie their academy graduate to a new long-term deal with the promise of a significant wage increase but Saka’s immediate focus remains on finishing his season on a high with England.
Asked if he was surprise by the way in which Saka has dealt with triumph and adversity, Southgate said: ‘I don’t know if it’s a surprise, because of how he is. He’s got brilliant support and a great family.
‘That will have helped, in the immediate aftermath for him. He’s a fantastic talent. He’s one that’s possibly less appreciated because his profile isn’t quite the same as some of our other attacking players.