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Jamie Carragher argues Arsenal man should start for England

  • Sports

By Dan Critchlow

LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal holds off Marc Cucurella of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on November 06, 2022. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

With just a week remaining until England’s first match of the World Cup, pundits are starting to put forward their preferred lineups for the tournament, and Jamie Carragher is backing Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

In general, most pundits seem to agree that at least two of Saka, Raheem Sterling, and Phil Foden should be starting for Gareth Southgate’s side, but there’s some disagreement within that.

Carragher opted for Saka on the right and Foden on the left, arguing that the right-wing position should be reserved for the Arsenal man.

“I love Raheem Sterling and he was England’s best player in the Euros, he was out of this world,” Carragher began. “This season his form has not been great and lately in an England shirt. Saka has been playing that well in that position.

“I prefer Raheem on the left so it wasn’t a case of Saka vs Sterling. It was always going to be Saka on that side and then it’s Sterling vs Foden.

“I just think the actual ability of Foden, the way he’s playing since the European Championships, I’d go with him.”

Carragher wasn’t the only one to argue for Saka’s inclusion, with Jamie Redknapp saying that “Saka is bang in form, so I feel he has to play as well”.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal looks on before taking a penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on October 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal looks on before taking a penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on October 09, 2022. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand has also argued for Saka over the last few weeks, writing: “In this form (for Arsenal), you can’t look past Saka on that right-wing spot. In an England shirt as well, he does it as well.

“I’ve watched him a couple of times this year live as well, when he gets [the ball], his first instinct and intentions are to go past you. He wants to attack the full-back.

“I love that about him. He’s got no fear, he’s playing with a bit more maturity every time I see him.

“If he’s in that mode going into the World Cup, I don’t see anybody starting in front of him on the right-hand side.”

England's midfielder Mason Mount (R) celebrates scoring the team's second goal with England's midfielder Bukayo Saka during the UEFA Nations League group A3 football match between England and Germany at Wembley stadium in north London on September 26, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
England’s midfielder Mason Mount (R) celebrates scoring the team’s second goal with England’s midfielder Bukayo Saka during the UEFA Nations League group A3 football match between England and Germany at Wembley stadium in north London on September 26, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Saka has five goals and six assists for Arsenal this season, helping the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table as well as topping their Europa League group.

The winger also impressed in his last appearance for England, coming off the bench to spark a comeback from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 (and eventually draw 3-3).

There are no guarantees that will earn him a starting spot in Southgate’s side, but he could hardly have given himself a better shot at it.

As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to Amnesty International.

Source: Daily Cannon.