Bukayo Saka Responds to Ian Wright’s Left Back Solution

England winger Bukayo Saka has insisted that a position switch to left-back isn’t the answer to the team’s struggles.

Saka, who has primarily played on the right wing for club and country, started all three group games at Euro 2024 in that position. Despite a disallowed goal against Slovenia, he’s been a bright spot for England, contributing an assist in their opening win over Serbia.

What Did Ian Wright Say About Bukayo Saka?

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has suggested switching Bukayo Saka to left-back at Euro 2024. He made the suggestion to open the door for Cole Palmer to start in attack.

Fans and pundits are asking for Palmer to get a starting berth in the upcoming last-16 clash against Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

The Chelsea youngster impressed with his cameo against Slovenia, offering a spark that was missing in a frustrating goalless draw. He, along with fellow substitute Kobbie Mainoo, were the only bright spots in an otherwise dismal England performance.

That said, integrating Palmer in the starting XI is quite a challenge. Gareth Southgate is unlikely to drop in-form players like Phil Foden or Saka.

Foden, however, is yet to recapture his Man City form for England. Saka, on the other hand, has an assist in Euro 2024. He also found the back of the net against Slovenia, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.

The lack of fluidity in the English attack has prompted former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright to propose an unorthodox solution that could see all three feature in the same team.

“I’m starting to think, I saw a stat about Kieran Trippier being our second most productive player, touches and passes,” Wright said on ITV.

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

It was, however, former Manchester United star Gary Neville, who entertained the idea of Saka switching to left-back for England, first.

“I think that it would be brilliant to see Bukayo Saka at left-back but I think Gareth Southgate won’t do that,” Neville said after England’s goalless stalemate with Slovenia.

“What you may get him to do is put Kyle Walker as left-back and put Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right who is a brilliant user of the ball on the right-hand side.”

What Did Bukayo Saka Say?

In a Friday interview with talkSPORT, Saka addressed the left-back suggestion. He revealed his preferred position and expressed his confidence in Southgate’s decision-making.

“I think we should trust Gareth and leave the decision to him – yeah, believe in him and the team,” the 22-year-old said.

“I feel more comfortable on the right and I think that’s where I play best,” the Arsenal ace added.

“A lot of the time it’s about coming in on my stronger foot, being able to link up with players, playing passes and taking shots – stuff like that.

“It’s when I’m at my best so that’s why I think it’s my best position.”