Euro 2024: England Legends Ashley Cole and Rooney Disagree Over Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden

Euro 2024: England Legends Ashley Cole and Rooney Disagree Over Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden

Elijah Odetokun
June 23, 2024 at 9:28 AM
In this article:
Phil Foden logo
Manchester City logoMEngland logo
Bukayo Saka logo
Arsenal logoFEngland logo
Ashley Cole logo
A. Cole
-DEngland logo
Wayne Rooney logo
W. Rooney
MLS All-Stars logoFEngland logo
G. Southgate
-DEngland logo
Anthony Gordon logo
A. Gordon
Newcastle United logoMEngland logo
Jude Bellingham logo
Real Madrid logoMEngland logo
Trent Alexander-Arnold logo
Liverpool logoDEngland logo
Cole Palmer logo
C. Palmer
Chelsea logoMEngland logo
Kobbie Mainoo logo
Manchester United logoMEngland logo
England logo
Slovenia logo
UEFA European Championship logo
  • England manager Gareth Southgate faces a team selection dilemma ahead of their Euro 2024 final group game against Slovenia
  • Southgate faces a decision to fix his midfield and attack which have not yet worked well together in the first two group matches
  • The key decision could see one of top stars Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, dropped amid growing calls from the media and fans

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England are preparing for their final group match of the 2024 European Championship against Slovenia, and manager Gareth Southgate has a selection problem.

The Three Lions beat Serbia narrowly in their first match thanks to Jude Bellingham’s first-half strike but laboured for a 1-1 draw in the second match against Denmark.

Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, England, Serbia, Euro 2024, AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka chatting during England's 1-0 Euro 2024 win over Serbia at AufSchalke on June 16, 2024. Photo by Lars Baron.
Source: Getty Images

The composition of the midfield and attack, which has Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield, Bellingham as number 10, and Phil Foden on the left wing, has been questioned.

Ashley Cole tells Southgate to ‘rest’ Saka

Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has urged Gareth Southgate to try a new attack combination, which could see Bukayo Saka dropped to the bench for the match against Slovenia.

"I would like to see Anthony Gordon play from the left, I would like to see Foden playing on the right because I feel he’s been unfairly dug out. You can still see it as a rest for Saka. I would like Foden to show the world how good he is because we know,” he told beIN Sport via Metro UK.

He claimed the Manchester City star is unfairly criticised because he is played out of position, and he wants to see him given his natural role. Elsewhere in midfield, he wants one of Kobbie Mainoo or Cole Palmer given a chance.

Rooney warns Southgate against Saka mistake

Plymouth Argyle manager Wayne Rooney has warned Southgate about dropping the Arsenal winger against Slovenia, claiming it will be a mistake.

"It wouldn’t surprise me if Gareth Southgate moves Phil Foden to the right, brings in Anthony Gordon and leaves Bukayo Saka out. I wouldn’t do that because I think Saka has been really good. He has been creative and provided some good balls into the box,” he told The Times.

Saka has been awarded the Three Lions Player of the Year in 2022 and 2023 and has proved integral to Southgate’s setup since he was called up to the senior team.

Cesc Fabregas sends message to Foden

Sports Brief reported on Cesc Fabregas sending a message to Phil Foden after the Manchester City star’s performance for England in the 1-1 draw against Denmark.

The former Barcelona star was not having any excuse that he was played out of position. He insisted he has to take initiative as a world class star and doesn't need much instruction to play.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.