Ian Wright shares Bukayo Saka proposal as Arsenal star at risk of England change

Ian Wright on Match of the Day
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has suggested England could benefit from deploying Bukayo Saka as a left-back at Euro 2024.

Saka has started on the right wing in each of the Three Lions' games against Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia but has failed to yet complete a full 90 minutes of action as Gareth Southgate contends with sharing game time across the variety of attackers available at his disposal.

The Arsenal star made way for Cole Palmer in Tuesday's goalless draw with Slovenia and the Chelsea star made a noticeable impact during the 19 minutes he was afforded on the pitch.

This cameo display has led for calls for Palmer to start for England's Round of 16 clash this weekend, which could affect Saka's place in the team. Offering a solution as to how Southgate could overcome this dilemma, Wright explained: "With how naturally left-sided Saka is, can we put Saka at left-back and Palmer on the right-hand side?"

Saka of course started his Arsenal career in this position before being moved out to the wing, ensuring it would not be completely alien to him. This opportunity came about due to injuries to Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac during the 2019/20, paving the way for the academy graduate to cover in their absence.

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Opening up on how he found this experience, the 22-year-old previously remarked: "It’s not my natural position, but he’s [Arteta] given me all the advice I need.

“I learned a lot about how wingers in the Premier League play against defenders and how to position myself because in his system it’s different. I get to play much higher because the winger comes inside and I get to go.

“There’s a lot of space for me and it’s good for me. I’m playing sort of as a winger when we have the ball but without the ball, I have to come back and work on my clearances, my heading and stuff I haven’t worked on my whole life. I feel like I’m doing ok right now.

“In the future, if I do get to go back onto the wing I feel like I know how full-backs play and playing as a full-back I know what wingers do, what I like them to do and what I don’t like them to do. It’s a good learning experience for me.”