Another blow for England as Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has withdrawn from the national team for their upcoming friendlies. England plays Switzerland and Ivory Coast in a warm-up to the World Cup staged later this year. Despite the Three Lions punching their ticket for the World Cup, Gareth Southgate named a full-strength squad for the friendlies. But the manager had to deal with a number of withdrawals from the squad.
Saka now joins six of his international teammates who have pulled out from the squad. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Sam Johnstone, and Aaron Ramsdale have withdrawn from the team due to injuries. Arsenal now have only two of their players left with the England squad in Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe. However, Saka’s absence could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Smith Rowe. The midfielder will now be in contention for more minutes with the national team.
Arsenal talent is out of the England squad due to covid
Bukayo Saka tested positive for covid-19 and as a result, has withdrawn himself from the team. The winger trained with the whole group till Tuesday, but is now isolated. Saka was first isolated at St George’s Park on Wednesday before returning home. This will come as a huge blow for Southgate who has relied on the scintillating form of the Arsenal academy product.
Saka turned up for the England squad on the back of his brilliant form with Arsenal. The winger had scored twice and assisted once in the gunners’ last four games. Moreover, Saka has helped Arsenal sit in the top four with six wins in the last seven games. With such high morale, the Arsenal star was again expected to work wonders for the England national team. But Saka is “gutted” over his absence as he expressed it through his official Twitter handle.
Saka’s covid illness has given another injury headache for Arsenal, after ‘keeper, Aaron Ramsdale withdrew from the England squad as well due to a hip injury. Ramsdale was in firm contention to replace Pickford in the goal due to his exceptional displays for the gunners. The ‘keeper has kept 12 clean sheets for Arsenal in the premier league this term, pulling some remarkable saves in the process.
Arteta’s men are fighting for a Champions League spot and will be hoping for a quick recovery of Bukayo Saka. Arsenal would be praying for Saka’s covid infection to be asymptomatic so that the England international suffers no further ill-effects which could delay his return for the North Londoners.
Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate has decided not to call on Saka’s replacement in the team. The team sheet saw many alterations after numerous withdrawals. Kyle Walker-Peters, Tyrick Mitchell, Ollie Watkins, and Sam Johnstone were called to replace Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Tammy Abraham, and Aaron Ramsdale. But there shouldn’t be any doubt over Saka and Ramsdale’s place in the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar.
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