England Pundits Paul Scholes And Ian Wright Clash Over Bukayo Saka’s Role in England Euro 2024 Squad

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England Euro 2024 campaign has been far from expectations despite finishing top of Group C with 5 points.

England fans and pundits believe the Three Lions have dwindled off the benchmark and may not go far in the competition.

The debate on where Gareth Southgate got it wrong in his setup has raged on with the likes of Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes, and Arsenal legend, Ian Wright, sharing wildly different views.

England Euro 2024

Wright stoked reactions when he suggested that Gareth Southgate should rejig his squad setup and reshuffle roles to get the team back in gear. According to him, Arsenal forward, Bukayo Saka, who plays traditionally as a right-wing for both club and country, should be played more as an attacking left-back instead of a forward.

According to him, one of England’s biggest challenges in the tournament is a left-back who is right-footed.

“With how naturally left-sided Saka is, could you maybe put Saka at left back, put Palmer on the right? Simply because we need to get some balance and fluidity in the game,” he said on punditry duties with ITV.

Paul Scholes reacts

Reacting to Ian Wright’s suggestion, Man United legend Paul Scholes blasts the Arsenal legend for ‘pissing him off’ with his role-swap suggestion for Bukayo Saka. Scholes added Wright’s suggestion is hinged on fears that Bukayo Saka could lose his role in the team should Gareth Southgate bring on Chelsea star Cole Palmer on the right wing. Taking to his Instagram Story, he wrote;

”Making me p**s these Arsenal legends trying to get Saka in at left-back because they’re afraid he’s going to be left out for Palmer.”

England Euro 2024

Before transitioning to a right-wing forward, Saka first played as a left-back while on the nascent stages of his career. While Ian Wright’s suggestion has not sat well with Scholes, the former Arsenal man apparently believes the best can be gotten of Saka on the left-back not necessarily a plea to secure his role in Gareth Southgate’s setup.

England Euro 2024: Gareth Southgate to face selection crisis Vs Slovakia

Away from the contradictory opinions, Southgate is likely to face a selection crisis in England’s round-of-16 clash against Slovakia if he attempts to change player roles as suggested by some pundits. Manchester United defender, Luke Shaw, who has been sidelined throughout the group stages of the competition, has reportedly returned and is in contention to start. He is likely to take his traditional left-back role.

Also, after a brilliant showing by substitute Cole Palmer in the team’s last group match against Slovenia, Southgate will face a dilemma of either starting Bukayo Saka or Cole Palmer.

Also, England fans have been clamouring for fast-rising Man United midfield sensation Kobbie Mainoo to start matches in the tournament after a spell on the substitute bench. Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice could also risk his role in the squad should Southgate go for Mainoo.

England Euro 2024 campaign recap

England ended their Euro 2024 group stage campaign without a defeat but it has been a downbeat showing by the star-studded side. They opened their campaign with a win over Serbia and drew the next two matches against Denmark and Slovenia.

Against Slovakia in the round of 16, Southgate will hope to weather his dismal group stage run and return the team to winning ways.

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