Monday, June 17, 2024

England sweat on Arsenal star’s fitness ahead of Euro 2024

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England’s Bukayo Saka is fouled during the International friendly football match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium in London on June 7, 2024. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka returned from injury to play for England in a friendly against Iceland on Friday, but he only managed the final 25 minutes of the match.

Saka had been out of action ever since his training injury in the final week of the club season, and his fitness reportedly remains a concern ahead of Euro 2024 kicking off later this week.

Sami Mokbel writes for the Daily Mail that the hope is that Saka will be fit to start against Serbia on Sunday, but there are concerns he’s lacking match sharpness and manager Gareth Southgate is yet to make a final decision.

Saka will reportedly be assessed in training this week, and there’s hope a full week of training will get him closer to full fitness.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Bukayo Saka of England during the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium on June 07, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of England during the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium on June 07, 2024. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

John Cross confirms for the Mirror that Saka is a fitness worry for England, with Southgate confirming on Friday that he’d missed several training sessions.

Again, Cross claims Saka is hoping to be fully fit by Sunday, but England will need to monitor and test him in training this week to ensure he’s ready.

From an Arsenal perspective, it’s concerning that Saka is likely to need to play a key role for England this summer when his current injury status is still raising question marks.

Only Harry Kane has scored more than Saka for England from the current squad, so Southgate is likely to lean on the Arsenal winger if he can. Arsenal fans will hope that doesn’t prove detrimental to the player’s longer-term fitness.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Bukayo Saka of England attempts to keep the ball in play during the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium on June 07, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of England attempts to keep the ball in play during the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium on June 07, 2024. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Saka scored 20 goals for Arsenal in 2023/24, providing a further 14 assists, but he ended the campaign on the sidelines after a training injury ruled him out of the Gunners’ final game against Everton.

The 22-year-old has played 52 games for Arsenal and England so far this season, and he could have as many as seven more to get through before his holiday begins.

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