Arsenal have suffered a major blow ahead of their Premier League clash against Liverpool tonight with the news that Bukayo Saka has yet to train with the team.
The England international was forced out of international duty due to injury, and stayed behind at the Emirates Stadium to recover.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Liverpool, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “Well he hasn’t trained with the team yet. He’s been doing some individual work. We had to pull him out of the England squad unfortunately.
“He’s feeling better, but he hasn’t trained with the team yet.”
Saka has been in exceptional form for the Gunners this season, scoring six goals and providing a further seven assists across all competitions.
It’s no surprise that the £54m-rated youngster has earned glowing reviews for his performances this season, with Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand raving about him after his star showing against Southampton in a 3-1 win earlier this year.
The former England defender said: “He was tremendous to watch. His skill – the maturity with which he plays is so impressive as well. He can play one and two touch. Plays off both feet. ‘His decision-making, for me, that is – he plays as someone who is well beyond his years. He makes the right decisions at the right times and you can see in the way he sets things up. He set the tone for the first goal. He’s so comfortable wherever he plays.
“He’s a real talent, someone, I’m sure, who is definitely in the thoughts of Gareth Southgate because he’s such a valuable player in terms of his ability to play in and cover different positions.”
Make no mistake about it, being without Saka – one of the club’s standout players of the season thus far – against Liverpool will be a major blow to Arteta and Arsenal’s chances of clinching an all-important win tonight. His absence will no doubt leave the manager very worried.