Chris Sutton has questioned Gareth Southgate using Bukayo Saka at left-back for England as the Arsenal star struggled. The winger started in Friday’s Nations League defeat to Italy.

Saka has previously featured as a makeshift left-wing-back earlier in his career for club and country. But the 21-year-old has not played in the role consistently for Arsenal since 2020. Instead, Mikel Arteta has gained from allowing the forward to cause havoc in their attack.

The Hale End graduate is often Arsenal’s talisman, with Saka blessed with an ability to run rings around defenders. He regularly thrives when allowed to offer a direct presence in the frontline, cutting in from the right wing onto his favoured left foot to either shoot or assist.

Yet Southgate elected to use Saka at left-back as England lost 1-0 away to Italy in the UEFA Nations League this Friday. The 19-cap dynamo had little impact on proceedings at the San Siro as a result. His skills were wasted before coming off for Jack Grealish after 72 minutes.

Saka was by no means at fault for the Three Lions’ defeat. But his difficulties adapting to a more defensive position offered the Azzurri a route to target. Italy caught the £70k-a-week forward out of position on multiple occasions in the first-half yet wasted each opportunity.


An appearance at left-back in Italy was hardly the reward that Saka deserved after England named the Arsenal star as their Player of the Year earlier on Friday. Southgate’s decision to use him defensively confused Sutton, who feels the Three Lions gaffer’s experiment failed.

“Starting Bukayo Saka was an interesting call at left-back,” Sutton wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. “It’s a tough ask to go to the other side of the pitch, and I’m not saying he isn’t capable, but it was a trial by the manager that didn’t work out how he wanted.”

Saka joined the England camp for games with Italy and Germany on Monday after assisting two goals as Arsenal beat Brentford 3-0. He also scored his first goal of the Premier League season against Manchester United, after assisting one goal against Fulham and Aston Villa.



Do you find 9jadailyfeeds useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!
  •  Facebook
  •  Twitter
  •  Instagram
  •  Youtube
  • Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *