Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has withdrawn from the England squad due to a hamstring injury, it was announced on Monday.
The 22-year-old reported to England’s St George’s Park base on Monday for medical assessments despite Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisting Saka was unavailable.
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It is not uncommon for England’s doctors to perform their own checks and following a series of examinations, Saka will now return to London.
“Having missed Arsenal’s Premier League win against Manchester City on Sunday through injury, Saka was assessed by the England medical team and it was decided that the player would continue his rehabilitation at his club,” the English Football Association (FA) said in a statement.
England boss Gareth Southgate will not call up a replacement, leaving him with a 25-man squad for Friday’s friendly clash against Australia and a Euro 2024 qualifier versus Italy on the following Tuesday, both at Wembley.
Saka has suffered a series of minor fitness problems, having been forced off in three consecutive Arsenal matches — the latest of which came in last Tuesday’s Champions League defeat at Lens.
Arteta initially suggested Saka could play some part against City on Sunday but he was not part of the matchday squad and when asked about the prospect of the winger joining up with England, he said: “No, he couldn’t make it. He hasn’t had a single training session so he will be out. He’s not available to play football at the moment.”