Bukayo Saka injury — England announce Arsenal star’s early return to North London for treatment

Troubling news for both England and Arsenal fans, as Bukayo Saka has returned to his Premier League club following a short stint with the Three Lions on international break.

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England says that Saka, 22, reported to camp with an unnamed injury and has been unable to train, ruling him out for high-profile friendlies against Belgium and Brazil.

More critical as far as this site’s concerned? Saka’s potential absence for the March 31 mega-watt Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The Gunners are looking for a season sweep of City that would serve as a terrific strengthener for their Premier League title hopes. Arsenal broke through late at home to City in October when Gabriel Martinelli’s late strike turned off Nathan Ake in a 1-0 affair.

Bukayo Saka injury update: What would Saka absence mean to Arsenal?

Saka’s 13 goals rank him 7th in the Premier League, five off Erling Haaland’s pace in the Golden Boot race, while his eight assists are 8th in the division and two away from tri-leaders Ollie Watkins, Kieran Trippier, and Pascal Gross.

He’s one of just five Premier League players with 20+ goal involvements this season, his 21 trailing only Ollie Watkins (26), Mohamed Salah (24), Erling Haaland (23), and Heung-min Son (22).

Saka has only missed one PL match this season — the 1-0 win over Man City at the Emirates — and that remains his only absence in the past three PL seasons after going 38 times in each of the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

Arsenal did beat City without Saka, as Gabriel Martinelli’s 86th-minute winner foiled the reigning champions in North London. But that game was more about the Gunners’s stifling set-up, as there was less than one combined xG between the teams and Arsenal took 12 of the game’s 16 shot attempts.

The Gunners are doubtlessly better with Saka, but they’ll feel good about the above as well as his extreme durability. Gamers find a way to play, and Saka has been remarkably tough (with, we’re sure, a strong contribution of good fortune given how often he is fouled.


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