Saka stays at Arsenal for hamstring assessment

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Bukayo Saka was due to link up with England for their upcoming internationals, but the FA have announced this morning that the 19 year old is currently staying at Arsenal as his hamstring issue is assessed.

Saka played 74 minutes of the 3-3 draw with West Ham on Sunday, having been taken off at half-time in the North London derby and subsequently missing the 1-0 defeat to Olympiacos.

The England camp say they are hopeful he will join up with the squad later in the week, as the Three Lions face World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on Thursday, Albania on Sunday, and then Poland on Wednesday.

Whether Saka can take part will obviously depend on how his injury responds to treatment, and Arsenal fans will be hoping he gets two weeks of rest before the big push to the end of the season. England should be able to deal with San Marino and Albania without him, and he’d only be missed for the Poland game.

So far this season, Saka has racked up 2,788 minutes of first team action this season: only Granit Xhaka and Bernd Leno have played more.

It’s a testament to his quality, but at 19 we have to be careful not to overload him too much – so let’s hope from a purely selfish Arsenal perspective, he gets to sit this Interlull out.

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Sturner

ooh nooo what a shame, he’ll have to have a week off and not play 3 pointless games.

FMT

Still bemused at the decision to start Saka against WestHam when we had in-form Pepe on the bench! Hope this does not bite us in the butt for the rest of the season .

Biggles

Yes, I thought he would get 15-20 minutes in the second half.

Heavenly Chapecoense

How many goals has “in-form Pépé” scored?

IAmGooner

Did provide a beauty of a cross for Lacazette. Just out of interest, when was the last time Saka scored?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Pépé has disappointed so much that anytime he plays a little below what is expected from him, he is said to be “in-form”. Compare his stats to Theo Walcott or Ramsey and tell me if the squad has improved with him.

KenKay Jones

Can you please answer IAmGooner’s question?

Inspector norse

And his price is always used against him, expectations is set by that price even when he plays well, it is not good enough for some because of the price, important to remember that we payed that price for him, and Nico Pepe did not set the price. He has been good lately thats all that matters.

Biggles

Yes, in a “fair” football world that would certainly be the case but in the world we’re in the price of a player is always a factor in the background.

Pepe was hugely over-priced which was nothing to do with him as you say. While he is playing well more often now he’s unlikely ever to play at a level (consistently anyway) that will “justify” his position as our most expensive player. It’s very unfortunate for him, but we’re all stuck with it I think.

Inspector norse

Well he won’t be the first to struggle with the PL tempo, and in a relatively short time he has played under 3 managers, he might become the player we hoped for in the end, he has the talent i think, but we will see, for the time being he is doing very well and we should give him more time to build on that form. Good for him, good for us, good for Sakas tired legs and maybe we can recoup some monies if we should go in that direction.

Frank

I have to say although I like Pepe, both he and Saka need to work on their shooting and Pepe definitely needs to work on his strength. Although pepe got a great assist both had great opportunities to score goals that could’ve won it for us on Sunday and neither was at all convincing with the way they took them

Dave Cee

Wallflower? Seriously? I’d take Pepe any day

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The speed, the goals and the run at Anfield, I’d take Walcott any day.

yura910721

Ah that’s why you need to watch the game. While stats on Pepe’s side might have gotten less impressive, his contribution to the team definitely improved: he is no longer hogging the ball and is really aggressive in his defensive side of the game. I am starting to believe in Pepe again.

Biggles

Very sensible decision. I was a little surprised that Saka got so much game time against West Ham. Anyway, if he doesn’t play for England at all over the break he’s got a while to recover.

Heavenly Chapecoense

You seem to have forgotten that we were 0-3 down, already?

Biggles

I haven’t forgotten we were 0:3 down, who could? Regarding Saka, I didn’t expect that he would start but would probably come on for the last 15-20 minutes or so. Instead he played for, what, 75 mins.

Martin

I seem to remember the part that Pepe played when he came on to help us get a point

jw1

^This. Yes. England isn’t paying his wage.
If Southgate’s crew can’t take down San Marino (FIFA #210, dead last in the competition) and Albania (#66) without Saka…

Poland (#19) is a good test for the national team. But not one Saka needs to be there for.

Johnny 2 Bad

Stay home son! Have a breather!

Johnny 4 Hats

Ah great. You’re here. We’re just waiting for Johnny 3 Cocks and we can begin our bi annual Johnference.

Johnny 3 Cocks

Hey sorry for being late. Traffic’s been terrible

C.B.

Tricky to turn down England caps but better for him and Arsenal.

Let’s make sure he is well looked after, we need him for the next 15 years or more.

Lord Bendnter

“hamstring assessment”

Ashburton Red

Loving the creativity. It’s not a lie.

Ashburton Red

Excellent news! Excellent management, tactical withdrawal, we absolutely need him refreshed for the business end of the season.

Maxin In The Shade

If he’ll be missing for the first two, why then risk him for the third match?

You’d hope sanity prevails and they decide to just put a line through him for this interlull. Let him get a few extra days rest/recovery to finish the season strongly.

Obviously it’s a selfish view as an Arsenal fan, but a fully fit and rested Saka at this stage of the season would benefit the national team at the Euros as well.