Bukayo Saka makes stance clear on playing left-back for England after Ian Wright proposal

England star Bukayo Saka has struggled to find his best form at Euro 2024 (Image: GETTY)

England star Bukayo Saka has given his verdict after Arsenal icon Ian Wright called for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to move the player to left-back. Saka, like many of his team-mates, has struggled to ignite Euro 2024 in his usual position on the right wing during the group stages. But he will be desperate to have a positive impact when his country go head-to-head with Slovakia in the last-16 on Sunday.

Saka was tipped to be one of the stars of Euro 2024 after cementing his place in Southgate’s 26-man squad for the tournament.

And he dazzled during the early stages of England’s victory over Serbia in their opening game as he teed up Jude Bellingham for the only goal of the game. But he was a shadow of himself during the bore draws against Denmark and Slovenia.

Saka was quizzed by BBC Radio 5 Live about a potential switch to left-back ahead of Sunday’s encounter.

And the 22-year-old has suggested that playing him “out of position” if he is deployed on the left side of defence is not the solution, but admitted “it’s in Gareth’s hands and we all have to trust what he selects on the day.”

Saka played at left-back during his days in the Arsenal academy, with social media footage of the ace starring on the left flank for the Gunners youth sides emerging earlier this week.

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England ace Bukayo Saka set-up Jude Bellingham’s Euro 2024 goal against Serbia (Image: GETTY)

And with Cole Palmer impressing on the right wing after replacing Saka in the second half against Slovenia, the Arsenal man may have to move positions just to keep his starting place if Southgate decides to use the Manchester City academy graduate from the outset on Sunday.

“I saw a stat about Kieran Trippier being our second most productive player, touches and passes,” Wright told ITV as he assessed England’s performance last time out.

“I’m thinking, how are we going to get Palmer into the team if that’s the case? With how naturally left-sided Saka is, could you maybe put Saka at left-back, and put Palmer on the right? Simply because we need to get some balance and fluidity in the game.”

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But Manchester United icon Paul Scholes disagreed with Wright’s opinion as he wrote on Instagram: “Making me p*** these Arsenal legends trying to get Saka in at left-back because they’re afraid he’s gonna be left out for Palmer.”

England will face a showdown with either Italy or Switzerland if they manage to come through their clash against Slovakia.

And Southgate could be facing a headache at left-back as Luke Shaw is yet to feature in the tournament following a lengthy injury absence, while Trippier was unable to train with the rest of the group on Thursday.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1916720/England-Bukayo-Saka-Arsenal-Ian-Wright