Euro 2024: Ian Wright’s controversial Bukayo Saka opinion sparks online debate

Ian Wright's Bukayo Saka comments on ITV's Euro 2024 coverage have provoked a debate on social media (Imago)

Euro 2024: Ian Wright’s controversial Bukayo Saka opinion sparks online debate

Seye Omidiora 06:59 - 26.06.2024

The Arsenal legend’s solution to England’s Euro 2024 woes has not been received kindly by Gooners; however, some other observers accept the pundit’s rationale.

Ian Wright has suggested a change of position for Bukayo Saka at Euro 2024 due to the continued imbalance of Gareth Southgate’s team. 

What did Wright say about Saka?

The Arsenal legend was speaking after yet another humdrum England showing against Slovenia at the European Championship, with the Three Lions playing out a goalless encounter in Cologne. 

Southgate’s men won the group, but it was not lost on observers that Group C was the lowest-scoring in the group phase with seven goals scored

Wright was pleased with Cole Palmer’s second-half cameo after replacing Saka, leading to the former England striker’s full-time comments. 

Cole Palmer made his Euro 2024 debut after replacing Bukayo Saka against Slovenia
Cole Palmer replaced Bukayo Saka in England's drab draw against Slovenia at Euro 2024 (Imago/PA Images)

“I saw a stat about Kieran Trippier being our second-most productive player with touches and passes,” said Wright on ITV’s Euro 2024 coverage “I’m feeling 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 you can put Saka at the left-back and put Palmer on the right, simply because we need to get some balance and fluidity in the game.” 

Mixed reactions to Wright’s Saka suggestion

Wright’s remarks immediately caused a stir among Gooners, who denigrated the pundit’s comments on X (formerly Twitter). 

One seeming Arsenal supporter — @simiafc — went in on the club’s former player, calling him a “disgrace to Arsenal.” 

Another fan — @Saltiest_GOONER — did not denigrate Wright’s comments but believes Southgate will not change Saka’s position. 

Perhaps the most stinging reaction to Wright’s post-match statement came from @Silti_Afc, who tagged the club legend a coward.

That sentiment was shared by @ruukayo_, calling the erstwhile striker’s opinion embarrassing. 

Another Gooner — @Chiddyafc — branded Wright’s suggestion “laughable”. 

A different supporter called for the revoking of the legend's access to the Emirates Stadium.

However, several observers feel the pundit’s remarks made a whole lot of sense, with one @Tunnykvng praising the former attacker’s idea. 

That seemed to be the consensus, as several critics agreed that said alteration offers balance to the Three Lions. 

What comes next?

Despite scoring twice in three group games, England advanced to the round of 16 as Group C winners. 

Southgate’s men will face the third-placed side from Group D or E in the first knockout round in Gelsenkirchen on June 30.