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Bukayo Saka pulls out of England squad, returns to Arsenal

Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka has left the England training camp and will miss their upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium,

The news comes as a major blow for Gareth Southgate, who will lose one of his key players ahead of preparations for the 2024 European Championships.

Saka did not partake in group training on Wednesday and left St George’s Park today. Southgate has not called up anyone to replace him.

The 22-year-old had been battling a minor Achilles injury for some time now, and this withdrawal could be to manage the load. He has been a mainstay in Mikel Arteta’s squad this season and needs some rest. 

Arteta will be sweating the fitness of the Hale End academy graduate ahead of a crucial title run-in. 

The Gunners are top of the Premier League table but need all hands on deck with some pivotal clashes on the horizon.

The Gunners face Manchester City in ten days and will be desperate to have him fit. There is also the Champions League quarter-final match-up against old foes Bayern Munich.

Arteta will hope to see Saka and Gabriel Magalhaes, who pulled out of the Brazil camp, fit before club football returns. 

There had been a couple of worries in the England camp with Luke Shaw and Jordan Henderson sidelined. 

Bayern striker Harry Kane is also a doubt for the Brazil game after coming from Germany with some niggling issues. He will hope to be fit for the Belgium match.

Southgate will be without some crucial players, but the Three Lions will believe they can start a strong squad for both matches. It is a chance to give players on the periphery a chance.

Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney can adeptly fill the Kane gap, while Phil Foden will likely start on the right flank for Saka. 

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