Gary Neville backs Gareth Southgate to make Bukayo Saka call for Euro 2020 final

Former England international Gary Neville has backed Gareth Southgate to make the harsh decision of dropping Bukayo Saka for the Euro 2020 final.

Saka has been one of the stars of England’s tournament, starting the wins against the Czech Republic in the group stage, over Germany in the last 16 and against Denmark in the semi-finals.

The Arsenal star produced the cross that was turned into his own net by Danish skipper Simon Kjaer for England’s equaliser in Wednesday’s semi-final.

It was another strong showing from the Arsenal star, who has risen over Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho in the pecking order for the right winger spot in Southgate’s side.

The Three Lions would go on to win the match in extra-time, with Harry Kane following up his own missed penalty to secure their first spot in a major final since the 1966 World Cup.

And Neville believes that for England’s biggest match for 55 years, Saka should be harshly dropped from the starting line-up despite his efforts so far.

“I agreed with bringing him [Saka] back last night because I felt he had been the most lively of the wide players, along with Raheem Sterling,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I am not sure he will start Sunday. I think that might just be too much for him.

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“What he did last night, the amount he has given in this tournament, I just feel we will see somebody else.”

The former Manchester United captain believes Southgate should look at Italy’s fearsome defence and instead call on Marcus Rashford or Sancho to find an opening.

“I look at [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Leonardo] Bonucci, and I think, who wouldn’t they like to have in those wide areas, making those inside runs?” Neville added.

“I actually think it could be a game for [Marcus] Rashford or [Jadon] Sancho to accompany Sterling in those wide positions.

“I think those wide positions need to be quick players, who make out to in runs, so I don’t think we will see Saka on Sunday.”

Looking back at his own experiences of tournament football, Neville believes that Saka is due a hard-earned rest.

“I think it might be one game too much for him. I was there in Euro 1996 as a 21-year-old and I was absolutely exhausted as I went through the tournament,” he said.

“I just feel that, on Sunday, he may be a handy sub to have and he [Southgate] may bring in other players, who haven’t played on Wednesday night.”

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