Arsenal news: Hale End star Bukayo Saka was forced off with a knock in England’s 4-0 win in Malta on Friday evening

England manager Gareth Southgate has played down any fears that Bukayo Saka had sustained an injury after he was taken off in the Three Lions’ Euro 2024 qualifying win over Malta.

The Arsenal forward was named in Southgate’s starting XI despite playing just short of 50 games this season. He joined Harry Kane and James Maddison in a front three, playing a big part in Ferdinando Apap’s own goal for the opener.

However, he appeared in discomfort following a tough challenge from a Malta defender and was eventually replaced by Manchester City star Phil Foden at half-time.

After the game, Southgate insisted the decision to withdraw the Emirates Stadium hero was a precaution and explained his expectation of having the 21-year-old available for Monday’s qualifier with North Macedonia.

“He’s good,” Southgate said after he was quizzed on the Gunners star. “He’s good. We just didn’t want to take a chance with him given the scoreline.”

Since the 2022/23 season kicked-off in August, Saka has played 57 games for club and country. He scored 15 goals and assisted a further 11 for Mikel Arteta’s team, as well four goals for England and two assists.

On Monday, England play their final game of the summer international break before Arsenal’s Three Lions recharge their batteries ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. understands that the first-team players are due to report back to London Colney in the first week of July.

It remains to be seen whether the club will grant extra time off for the international players. Last year, players who had featured in the UEFA Nations League ties in June were handed additional time to themselves before returning to training.


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