Arsenal legend Michael Thomas admits he’d like to see Bukayo Saka get some playing time for England at Euro 2020.
Writing in his JustArsenal column, the former Gunners midfielder made it clear he felt Saka could have a key role to play for Gareth Southgate’s side, noting that it was interesting to see him named on the bench ahead of Jadon Sancho for the opening game against Croatia.
There’s no doubt that Saka has plenty of competition for a place in the England squad at the moment, with other top attacking talents like Jack Grealish also failing to make Southgate’s starting XI for the Croatia game.
Saka, however, has played in a variety of positions for Arsenal, and Thomas thinks that versatility could give him the edge over some of the other players in the England squad.
Thomas, who scored one of the most famous goals in Arsenal’s history to wrap up the title against Liverpool in 1989, admitted it’s a shame not to see more Gunners stars in this England team, but talked up Saka as one who could make an impact.
“The way England played was a pleasant surprise in the way they controlled the ball,” Thomas said. “Croatia obviously have the quality in the middle of the pitch that are used to keeping hold of the ball, but I think our midfield were excellent in breaking things up, and then obviously showed the quality when needed to create a couple of good openings.
“There will for sure be tougher tests going forward but I think if Southgate can get the forward line firing then they will have a real chance. They lacked a little bit of cutting line passes without Grealish but it is to be expected in their first game against arguably the toughest opponents in the group.
“It’s a shame we didn’t see any Arsenal players in the line-up, but Gareth Southgate clearly likes Saka, and who wouldn’t? He is an immense talent and so grounded.
“He was on the bench over Sancho which could be seen as a little bit of a surprise, but he can also play in an array of positions which might give him the nod over others. I am sure if he gets an opportunity he will take it with open hands.”