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Stuart Pearce blames England star for ‘not helping’ Bukayo Saka at Euro 2024

England's Bukayo Saka during the UEFA Euro 2024, round of 16 match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Bukayo Saka has struggled to make an impact for England at Euro 2024 (PA)

Stuart Pearce says he ‘feels sorry’ for Bukayo Saka and believes he has not been helped by Kyle Walker during England’s Euro 2024 campaign.

Gareth Southgate’s side are preparing to take on Switzerland in their Euro 2024 quarter-final tie on Saturday and are looking to improve after delivering another disjointed display in the extra-time victory over Slovakia last Sunday.

Saka, meanwhile, has struggled to make an impact on England’s right flank, and was even deployed as a makeshift left-back in the second half of the comeback win against Slovakia at the weekend.

But former England captain and caretaker manager Pearce believes Walker has not done enough to aid Saka in attacking areas.

‘I feel sorry for Saka,’ Pearce told talkSPORT.

Kyle Walker speaks with teammate Bukayo Saka of England during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Serbia and England
Stuart Pearce says Kyle Walker needs to do more to help Bukayo Saka (Getty)

‘Because, and I’ve mentioned it many times on commentary, Kyle Walker as a full-back is not helping this boy out.

‘He’s got to do more for him. He really has. Because I like Saka, I think he’s an outstanding player.

‘But unless you’ve got a distraction run from your full-back, your work is that much harder to try and get turned and face the opposition up.’


QUARTER FINAL – July 6 at 5pm

England vs Switzerland

SEMI FINAL – July 10 at 8pm

England vs Netherlands or Turkey

FINAL – July 14 at 8pm

England vs Germany, Spain, Portugal or France

Meanwhile, Pearce believes Southgate will make only one change from the extra -time win over Slovakia for Saturday’s clash against Switzerland with Ezri Konsa replacing Marc Guehi, who misses out due to suspension.

‘If there’s a change at all, and it’s Palmer, I think Palmer will play instead of Saka, and Saka will be the one that is sacrificed,’ Pearce said.

‘Personally over the four games, I think performance-wise, I think that [Phil] Foden’s performances have been stronger than Jude [Bellingham].

‘People will look at me and say, ‘are you crazy, he’s won us one of the games, he’s kept us in the tournament with his goals’. And I grant that, his goals have been brilliant and you’re loathe to take players out the team that can score a goal at the drop of a hat like that.

‘You’re not going to take Jude out the team but I think it would be harsh on Phil Foden to be left out of the starting line-up as well because I think he’s improving game-on-game and we think, on what we’ve seen for Manchester City, he can get us to the final and win us the tournament on his day.

‘It’s a really difficult team selection for the manager. When push comes to shove, apart from Konsa, I think he’ll put the same team out.’

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