Euro 2024 Qualifiers: Bukayo Saka the hat-trick hero as England win big but back-to-back defeats leave Wales reeling

At the end of a marathon season, in his 58th appearance for club and country, Bukayo Saka delivered arguably his best performance yet, scoring his first senior hat-trick and doing so in stunning style.

His goals typified the ruthless efficiency the 21-year-old has added to his game. For the first, a razor-sharp turn and devastating finish on the angle. For the second, an even better effort, thundered home from outside the box from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass.

Those strikes underlined Saka’s penchant for the spectacular and his ball-striking prowess, but the third was all about composure as he latched onto Harry Kane’s pass and slotted home with the unerring coolness of a far older player.

It is, in part, his age that makes performances such as this, both for his country and his club, so thrilling. This season, Saka hit double figures for both goals and assists for Arsenal while at the same time becoming one of Gareth Southgate’s most important players.