‘You can’t do that for England’ – Paul Merson explains why Southgate is benching Cole Palmer for England

Cole Palmer
Photo: Copa/Getty Images

Cole Palmer was left on the bench all through England’s 1-0 win over Serbia in the first game of their Euros campaign.

Bukayo Saka started the game, and when he was eventually subbed off, Gareth Southgate decided to bring on Jarrod Bowen.

Paul Merson has shared his thoughts on why Bukayo Saka will start over Cole Palmer for England.

According to Paul Merson, Cole Palmer won’t suit England’s play in an international tournament.

“He’s playing at Chelsea, I go to Stamford Bridge and watch him, he’s been absolutely outstanding this season,” said Merson.

“But he’ll go get the ball off [Malo[ Gusto, he’ll take it off him and go play. He’ll touch the ball 100 times. You can’t do that when you play for England.

“You’ve got to hold your position and stay there. He touches the ball 100 times [per match] for Chelsea. He’ll touch the ball 25 times for England. Different.

“[Bukayo] Saka is used to that. Saka plays that way… You’ve got to play these players that are used to playing against this kind of defence.

“I’m a massive fan of Palmer, I think he’s outstanding, but he doesn’t play in front of Saka.”