"Waste of talent", "We should ban him" - Fans shocked as Southgate picks Arsenal star to play as left wing-back for England

England fans unimpressed as Arsenal winger set to start at left wing-back
England fans unimpressed as Arsenal winger set to start at left wing-back

England fans are unimpressed with Gareth Southgate's decision to play Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka at left wing-back against Italy today, September 23.

The Three Lions head into the Nations League clash at the San Siro knowing that a defeat will relegate them to League B. Southgate faced huge criticism in the summer as his team failed to win any of their four games, facing a 4-0 home defeat to Hungary.

Ready to take on Italy! 🦁

Ahead of the clash with the European champions, Southgate named his starting lineup which appeared to consist of a 3-4-3 formation. Plenty of attention has been focused on Manchester United captain Harry Maguire starting, but fans also seem concerned that Saka will be out of position.

The Arsenal winger was named England's Player of the Year earlier in the day, but has started slowly for the Gunners this season.

He has scored just once across the campaign and provided four assists in eight appearances when he plays on the right-wing.

England appear to have a major problem at left-back. Luke Shaw is barely playing for Manchester United and Chelsea's Ben Chilwell has only just returned from a long-term injury.

Ahead of the clash in Milan, supporters took to Twitter to criticize Southgate's selection, especially for placing the winger in an unfamiliar defensive role:

England men’s player of the year as a right-winger and he’s decided to play him left-back. The day this guy is removed as manager will be a great day. What a 🤡
He's playing Saka at lwb and dier starts.....…
Is he playing Saka LWB? 😭😭…
It's 2022 and Southgate still uses saka as a lwb 🤣🤣🤣 seriously the guy is clueless, its like putting foden cb ffs
@markgoldbridge Stinky southgate even though having 2 Lbs available he decides to play Saka Lwb
Southgate picked around 10 defenders in his squad and is still playing Saka as a left wing-back! 😶
@nonewthing Honestly man it irritates me ... Saka is the best equipped right winger and he uses him as Lwb
I know he'll do well but playing Saka at LWB is a waste of his talent.

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka "did not expect" to win England's Player of the Year

The winger was handed his award by a group of young grassroots footballers during a mock press conference earlier today.

Saka was clearly taken aback by the award and expressed his gratitude for the prestigious individual award, as he stated (as per The Mail):

"No way! I did not expect this, honestly. I'm honoured. I'm so happy, I can't put into words how happy I am."
"It's really nice to be awarded this trophy, and that's all I can really say! Playing for England is so special, there are so many kids who want to play football for teams and it's really difficult, so to then get picked to play for your country, it's another level of honour and pride in yourself."

He added:

"So I'm just really happy every time I get to come here, pull on the shirt and play at Wembley in front of all the fans. It's a beautiful feeling."

The Arsenal forward missed England's crucial spot kick during their European Championship final against the Italians last summer.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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