Gary Neville claims that Gareth Southgate’s use of Arsenal wonderkid Bukayo Saka heavily in the build up to the final means he could be dropped.
The 19 year-old has started more matches than any other on the right-wing for England this summer, and has earned rightful praise for his attitude and performance, but his position is one of the most hotly contested within the squad.
Saka has fended off the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marchus Rashford, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish in the battle for minutes thus far, with Raheem Sterling having proven to be undroppable on the opposing flank.
The Arsenal youngster could well lose out today when the starting line-ups are announced however, and Gary Neville believes the fact that he has been so heavily involved in interviews and the build-up, that he believes he is even less likely to start.
‘There is only one possible change and that’s Saka,’ Neville told ITV(via the DailyMail). ‘I know that would possibly be an unpopular thing to say, I just feel he may say go for sixty minutes and we’ll get you off – which he’s done before – he may say that and go with the same team. I just wonder whether he might bring someone else in.’
‘Actually putting him up for interviews before the final makes me think he might not be playing,’ he added.
‘If Rashford was in form I’d go Rashford-Sterling just to get in behind (Giorgio) Chiellini and (Leonardo) Bonucci but Rashford hasn’t been in the greatest of form. I would think it would be Sancho if Saka doesn’t play.
‘I think you have to play two of the quicker ones, so it would be Saka, Sancho or Rashford with Sterling on the other side.’
Would it be wrong to drop Saka after his efforts in helping the side reach the final? Do you believe his TV time prior to the final is because he is less likely to start?