Arsenal

Arsenal given Bukayo Saka injury scare as England star misses training ahead of Man City clash

The Gunners forward was absent from training at St. George’s Park as the Three Lions prepare for friendlies against Belgium and Brazil

Arsenal have been dealt an injury scare after Bukayo Saka was absent from England training at St. George’s Park.

The 22-year-old winger has been integral for Arsenal this season, scoring 16 goals and grabbing 15 assists in 37 matches. Throughout he has shown remarkable durability and has missed just one game all campaign – the 1-0 victory over Manchester City in October.

He had been struggling with illness in the build up to the 2-1 win over Brentford, but was able to overcome the issue. He then played a pivotal role in the Champions League victory over Porto, scoring Arsenal’s third spot kick in the shoot out.

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Saka was then called up to the England squad for their friendlies against Belgium and Brazil over the next couple of weeks. However, as Gareth Southgate’s side prepare for those matches Saka was not involved in full training at St. George’s Park on Wednesday. Instead, he, alongside Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Cole Palmer, took part in an individual training programme indoors away from the squad.

Saka’s absence is thought to be precautionary, however. Arsenal face City in a crucial clash at the top of the Premier League in their first game back after the international break, but there has been little suggestion that the 22-year-old will be absent for that.

Arsenal stars Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale were present for the training at St. George’s Park. Ben White, however, has remained in north London.

The 26-year-old, who signed a new contract with Arsenal last week, instead has made himself unavailable for selection for the current squad. “Clearly on form I can’t sit here and say he doesn’t deserve to be in,” manager Gareth Southgate said. “We had a call from Edu (Arsenal’s sporting director) last week (and he) said Ben didn’t want to be considered for England squads at this time.

“For me that is a great shame. He is a player we took to the Euros, a player we took to the World Cup and I spoke to him post-Qatar because I wanted to pick him.”

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