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He will not make it – Mikel Arteta confirms Bukayo Saka is out of England squad

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Oct 2023

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Bukayo Saka will not join up with England for international duty next week, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed.

Saka was missing for the Gunners’ 1-0 win over Manchester City after struggling with a hamstring issue during recent matches.

The absence of Saka ended his run of appearing in 87 consecutive Premier League games and Arteta says he will now sit out England’s upcoming fixtures with Australia (October 13) and Italy (October 17).

“No, he will not make it,” Arteta said. “He has not trained for a single session. He is not available to play football at the moment.”

The 22-year-old winger limped off during Arsenal’s loss at Lens on Tuesday, having also been withdrawn in last weekend’s victory at Bournemouth.

England manager Gareth Southgate had stated on Thursday he would take no risks with Saka despite the Italy clash being a crucial European Championship qualifier.

“I can only go via what Mikel (Arteta) has said about the last few games,” Southgate said earlier this week.

“We look after the players as well as any country. There’s always a focus on our players because they are playing their club football, in the main, in England and then we are playing here as well.

“Whereas all the other countries call the players that are playing in the Premier League and nobody looks at how they look after them and how they train them.

“When we have really good dialogue with all of their clubs, I think they pretty much all would agree that we probably give better feedback than every other nation.

“They have trust in us that we make decisions that are right for the long term whenever we can. We only have 10 matches a year. And there’s been times when… Bukayo, for example, we haven’t always played.

“But there are certain key games where, if it’s possible to have your best players, then you do want to have them.

“So we’ve got that responsibility of qualifying for the country but… I’ve been a player… I’ve never ever taken a risk on a player’s physical wellbeing. And nor would I.”

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