Ferdinand suggests new position for Arsenal star if England team-mate is ruled out vs Denmark

Joe Williams
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand during his role as a TNT Sports pundit.

Rio Ferdinand thinks England winger Bukayo Saka should play at left-back if Luke Shaw isn’t fit for the match against Denmark on Thursday.

Saka was arguably the Three Lions’ most dangerous player on Sunday in their 1-0 win over Serbia with his cross finding Jude Bellingham’s head for the only goal of the game.

Gareth Southgate’s men are among the favourites to become kings of the continent three years on from going within a penalty shootout of winning the last edition.

But they will have to improve after surrendering control in the second half to Serbia with a late save from Jordan Pickford securing the three points for England.

Kieran Trippier, who has been playing at left-back for England, pulled up with cramp in the second half against Serbia but now has time to recover ahead of Thursday’s second group game against Denmark in Frankfurt.

Southgate played down fears of anything more serious but Ferdinand reckons Arsenal winger Saka should be given a chance at left-back if Trippier is injured and Luke Shaw is still not fit enough to be risked.

Former Manchester United centre-back Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE Youtube channel: “Yeah, if Shaw’s not fit then 100 per cent, we’re bang in trouble.

“We would have to put Saka at left-back. I’d play Saka at left-back then I would.

“If you ain’t got Shaw and you ain’t got Trippier then I would play Saka at left-back. I’d play it where as soon as we get possession you’re [Saka] a left winger.”

Ferdinand was impressed by Saka against Serbia but England’s second-half performance concerned the former Three Lions defender.

He added: “Did you see how many times he stood up the full-back and destroyed him, like skinned him?

“I thought Saka was really good. First 45, the wing-play he showed… you know what I liked about it? He mixed it up. He didn’t always come inside. He went on the outside a couple of times.

“The defender didn’t know which way he was going to go but second half, when they put pressure on us, that was the problem. We didn’t respond well to that.”

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Ollie Watkins, who has had a brilliant season in the Premier League for Aston Villa, didn’t get off the bench on Sunday and is hoping to get a chance when England face Denmark in their next match.

“I think it’s something that’s new for me,” Watkins said. “I’m used to playing every game. I have done across the last four or five seasons.

“I don’t enjoy being on the bench, I’m not going to lie. But I don’t think any player is happy to sit there and just watch their team.

“But I know my qualities and I’ll be ready when I get the opportunity.”