Bukayo Saka will make his England debut on the left against Wales on Thursday night, according to reports in the local media.

Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles with England (Photo via England on Twitter)
Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles with England (Photo via England on Twitter)

The Mirror write that Bukayo Saka will make a debut start for England in an experimental lineup on Thursday against Wales. With a couple of Nations League matches coming up, Gareth Southgate is using the Wales friendly to try some things out.

As a result, Saka will start on the left of midfield in a 3-4-3 formation, according to the report. That’s certainly not going to phase the youngster, given he plays the same position for Arsenal.

Southgate said of Saka: “I’ve loved getting to know him this week, a really charming personality you can really see how excited he is by everything.

“Also, he is an exciting player, we know he can play for or different positions already. He’s done that for Arsenal: wide left, wide right, wing-back, left-back.

“I think out and out left-back at this level would be a little bit more difficult but any of those advanced positions he is more than capable.”

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is also waiting for his first start, though there aren’t any indications of whether he’ll make it against Wales. He came off the bench for his debut against Denmark over the last break.

The only hint we have for how Southgate will use Maitland-Niles is that he brought him on for Trent Alexander-Arnold. So the manager probably sees the 23-year-old as a right-wing back, in which case he might also start against Wales.