Bukayo Saka says he is not 'the solution' for England at left-back

Bukayo Saka says he is not “the solution” to England‘s left-sided problems ahead of the last-16 match against Slovakia on Sunday.

Saka, 22, played in every game as England topped Group C to seal a place in the knockout stage of Euro 2024, with all three appearances coming on the right side of a front three.

But sections of supporters and the media — including former Arsenal striker Ian Wright while working as a pundit for ITV — have suggested the Arsenal forward as an option to replace Kieran Trippier, a right-back by trade, in the left-back role in a move that would allow Cole Palmer to play on the right wing.

England’s only recognised left-back Luke Shaw is yet to feature at the tournament following hamstring injury sustained in February.

Asked about Wright’s comments, Saka told BBC Radio 5 Live: “No, obviously I love Ian Wright and he says so many great things about me but I don’t think putting me out position is the solution.

“But at the end of the day, I think we can we can talk about this but it’s in Gareth (Southgate’s) hands so we will just have to trust whoever Gareth selects on the day.”



Why England should play 3-4-3 with Bukayo Saka at left wing-back

Saka first broke into the Arsenal team as a left wing-back under Unai Emery but has since become a crucial member of Mikel Arteta’s current side in a right-sided role, a position he also played for his country during England’s run to the final of Euro 2020.

Saka, who is left-footed, explained he now feels “more comfortable” on the right.

He told TalkSport: “I think we should trust Gareth’s decision and listen to him select the team.

“For me? I feel more comfortable on the right. I think a lot of the time it is coming inside on my strongest foot, being able to link up play and take shots and things like that.”

Speculation on Saka’s future place in the side comes amid growing clamour for Chelsea forward Palmer to be handed a starting berth following a series of underwhelming performances from Gareth Southgate’s side.

Southgate decided to pick Shaw in his 26-man squad despite the fact he has not played for club or country since February.

With Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell and Tyrick Mitchell also overlooked, Trippier has played at left-back in all three of England’s Euro 2024 games so far.

The Newcastle United defender has been managing a calf issue and was replaced by Trent Alexander-Arnold 84 minutes into England’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia on Tuesday.

(Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

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