Premier League • England

Southgate told he ‘can’t ignore’ massive England decision that’ll enrage Arsenal and split fans

Gareth Southgate and Arsenal pair Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice

Gareth Southgate could make a big decision involving an Arsenal star

Gareth Southgate has been urged to select Cole Palmer for England this summer over Bukayo Saka, in a move which would frustrate Mikel Arteta and Arsenal.

Palmer left Manchester City last summer to join ‘Big Six’ rivals Chelsea in a £42.5million deal. Pep Guardiola had asked for the attacker to remain at City, but he decided to leave so he could become a regular starter elsewhere.

The transfer has worked wonders for both Palmer and Chelsea. The Englishman has become Chelsea’s main creative spark and their most important star, despite huge money being spent on other players.

Palmer has managed an incredible 26 goals and 13 assists in 45 games, which includes 21 strikes in 31 Premier League outings.

What makes those stats even more impressive is that Palmer is only 22 years old, which means he should get even better.

The Manchester-born playmaker has also forced his way into Southgate’s England setup, having won caps against Malta and North Macedonia so far.

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Southgate is facing a selection dilemma this summer as Palmer and Saka are both lethal at right wing.

Saka has also enjoyed a great season, having registered 20 goals and 14 assists in 46 matches, though Palmer will push him all the way.

Arsenal news: Cole Palmer to oust Bukayo Saka?

Michael Owen, who made 89 appearances for England between 1998 and 2008, thinks Southgate should give Palmer the nod, despite Chelsea’s star man having less international experience than Saka.

Such a decision would likely enrage Arsenal boss Arteta and split England supporters right down the middle.

“I would now start Cole Palmer over Bukayo Saka,” the pundit said. “I don’t think you can ignore Palmer’s form and quality any longer.

“I had him in my squad a few months ago but now he’s one of the best players in the Premier League. He might even get Player of the Year, possibly the Golden Boot, and that’s in a struggling team.

“So he’s now a must in my mind. I would play him on the right. I’d have Foden and him, one on the right and one central, then have Rice as a lone number 6, then Bellingham and Foden as 8s stroke 10s and Cole on the right.”

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