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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Arsenal quick to rally around Bukayo Saka as club chiefs and players support England star as he deals with penalty miss and abuse

The joyful pictures of Bukayo Saka leaping into a swimming pool on an inflatable unicorn felt like an age ago on Sunday night.

Those images of the Arsenal teenager and his England team-mates playing about during a Euro 2020 rest day went viral on social media.

The 19-year-old had every right to be happy, too, having come from the fringes of the squad to become its breakout star and a symbol of the bright future of this England team.

So, perhaps that is why Sunday’s pictures of Saka sobbing at Wembley after missing the decisive penalty against Italy, and being embraced by England manager Gareth Southgate, cut so deep.

The challenge now for Saka is how he responds to that traumatic moment and the racist abuse that followed.

Saka is on holiday for three weeks, but his club have been swift to offer him their full support.

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