Michael Owen disagrees with Jose Mourinho over Bukayo Saka’s England penalty

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Michael Owen insists Bukayo Saka was not too young to take England's decisive penalty during their shootout with Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate surprised his players by calling on the 19-year-old to step up for the fifth penalty.

When the time came for Saka's effort, England were 3-2 down in the shootout and needed to score to keep their hopes alive, but the Arsenal starlet was denied by a strong hand from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Jose Mourinho is among those to criticise Southgate's decision to place the responsibility on Saka's young shoulders, claiming this pressure is "too much for a kid".

Saka's saw his penalty saved by Donnarumma, who was Italy's hero throughout the tournament
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The Portuguese told talkSPORT : "The decision of the penalty takers, I think it's hard to leave especially Saka as the last one.

"I think it's too much for a kid to have everything on his shoulders in this moment but I don't know if I have to ask Gareth or not because players who should be there, they are not there."

But Owen has rubbished suggestions Saka is too young to have stepped up for the decisive spot kick and even claimed it is "easier being young" in that scenario.

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The former England striker – formerly the Three Lions' youngest player and goalscorer – wrote on Twitter : "So much to debate following #EURO2020 but I simply can’t have this 'too young at 19' theory to take a penalty.

"In fact, if my experiences are anything to go by it’s easier being young! Fearless, confident, no previous scars etc."

In a second tweet, Owen added: "Just checked the ages of players who’ve missed at major tournaments since Italia 90.

Was it right for Gareth Southgate to entrust Bukayo Saka with the decisive penalty? Comment below.

"(Stuart) Pearce 28 (Chris) Waddle 29 Southgate 25 (David) Batty 29 (Paul) Ince 30 (David) Beckham 29 (Darius) Vassell 24 (Jamie) Carragher 28 (Steven) Gerrard 26 (Frank) Lampard 28 (Ashley) Young 27 (Ashley) Cole 32.

"As I thought, the theory is absolute b*******."

Although Owen is adamant Southgate was right to entrust the fifth penalty to Saka, Mourinho accused some senior players of shirking the task.

"Players that should be there, they run away from the responsibility," he said.

"And because I feel Gareth is such an honest guy, such a protective coach of his group of players, I don't believe Gareth would ever say that player A or player B they run away, they hide or they told me that they weren't ready to."

He added: "Where was (Raheem) Sterling? Where was (John) Stones? And where was Luke Shaw?

"And why (Jordan) Henderson or (Kyle) Walker they didn't stay on the pitch because in reality it is very, very hard for (Marcus) Rashford and (Jadon) Sancho to come and take a penalty after one touch on the ball and for Saka to have the destiny of a penalty on his shoulders I think is too much."

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