Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bukayo Saka withdraws from England squad as Arsenal vs. Manchester City looms large

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Bukayo Saka has withdrawn from the England squad. The Arsenal forward reported to St. George’s Park at the start of the week and has been unable to take part in training. He will now return to his club for rehabilitation. No replacement has been named.

CBS Sports understands that Saka has a minor muscular injury and that his withdrawal from the squad is viewed as more of a precaution ahead of a crucial run of games for Arsenal, starting with the visit to Manchester City on April 31.

Saka’s absence will however be keenly felt by Gareth Southgate, who only has friendlies against Brazil and Belgium before he names his squad for Euro 2024. Barring injury, the 22-year-old is viewed certain to be a part of that, having been England Men’s Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons. However, Southgate would doubtless benefit from the chance to field Saka alongside Phil Foden and Harry Kane against high-level opposition. Following these games England only have friendly fixtures against Iceland and Bosnia and Herzegovina before their European Championships kick off against Serbia on June 16.

Saka has been in outstanding form for Arsenal this season, scoring 16 goals and providing 13 assists in all competitions, and his presence will be vital if Mikel Arteta’s side are to pick up the points at Manchester City that would dramatically enhance their chances of winning the Premier League title. The right winger has suffered with a minor hamstring issue this season, missing the home game against City, but his durability has been vital in the Gunners’ rise to contention at the top of the league. 

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