International Soccer

Bukayo Saka responds to calls to play left-back for England at Euro 2024

Bukayo Saka has insisted that moving to left-back would not fix England’s struggles at Euro 2024.

The Arsenal winger has started on the right side of England’s attack this summer but is yet to show anything close to his best form, with many fans now calling for Chelsea’s Cole Palmer to start in his place against Slovakia in the last 16.

With England also struggling at left-back, where Luke Shaw remains injured, Arsenal legend Ian Wright made the controversial claim that Saka, whose first taste of senior football came as a left-back, should move back into defence to help the team.

In an upcoming interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Saka was asked about moving to left-back and insisted that being played “out of position” would not fix England’s issues.

Saka did, however, admit: “It’s in Gareth [Southgate]’s hands and we all have to trust what he selects on the day.”

Bukayo Saka

Saka’s spot in the lineup is under pressure / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Wright had insisted that Saka, a natural left-footer, could provide some much-needed creativity down the left for England, where right-back Kieran Trippier has failed to contribute to the attack on his opposite side of the pitch.

“As great as Saka has done for England in terms of what he creates and his goals and assists, he is a natural left sided player,” Wright said.

“He started playing for England on the left at youth level, he started at Arsenal on the left. If that’s going to give you the balance and gets you Cole Palmer in the team, it’s something you have to at least look at.

“Yes, Kyle Walker can play there [at left-back], it’s the same situation where you have the player coming inside, you have no one going around. He’s a natural left-footer, Saka, we could activate the whole left side.”

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