‘It is not up to me’ – Chelsea star on calls he should start for England

Harry De Cosemo
Bukayo Saka is replaced by Cole Palmer during England v Slovenia
Bukayo Saka is replaced by Cole Palmer during England v Slovenia

Chelsea playmaker Cole Palmer believes he should start for England at Euro 2024, but acknowledges manager Gareth Southgate has a tough decision when it comes to selection.

Southgate has been heavily criticised both at home and in the stands in Germany for the way he has approached the tournament despite the Three Lions making it through to the last 16. They face Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

England topped Group C but only managed to win one game, against Serbia. They drew with Denmark and Slovenia, and Southgate’s insistence on playing Phil Foden out of position on the left, leaving the likes of Palmer and Newcastle United winger on the bench, has enraged some supporters.

Palmer will not get impatient

Both men came off the bench in the final game against Slovenia and there have been calls to start both alongside Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo. Palmer says he thinks he is ready, but admits the likes of Foden, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka make it tough for Southgate.

“You can see on social media what fans think,’ the Chelsea star said. ‘There’s loads of different teams people want to play, so it’s normal. It’s nice to see it but it’s not up to them, is it?

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“Personally I think I’m ready but it’s not up to me. I just wait for my time and when I get on I just try to do what I do.‌ I was just excited to get on for 20 minutes and thought I was going to try to do something or make an impact.

“I wouldn’t say I’m impatient because I know it’s my first tournament and you’ve got players like Saka, Foden and Bellingham in my position so it is understandable. But I was just want to get on and try to impress when I do.”

Meanwhile, former England striker Alan Shearer is backing the team to grow into the tournament as they look to push towards a second successive final.

“There’s only one prediction for me here: England. They will improve. They’ve got to start clicking into third and fourth gear now.

“So England, without doubt. I can see it being a convincing win, I hope so. This is the time they’ll put their foot on the gas.

‘They’ll show a lot more energy, they’ll show a lot more confidence. This is where the tournament will start for England.”

England find themselves on the opposite side of the draw to hosts Germany, Spain, France and Portugal.

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