So now the season is finally over after last night’s Champions League Final, and you would hope that Arsenal’s young team would really have needed a well-earned rest after making into the European places for next season.
Many of our youngsters looked like they were a bit jaded and playing through niggling injuries in the final stages of the season, especially Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe, but they are two of the five Arsenal players that have been called up by England to play four games in June. Strangely enough, one Arsenal player that finished the season strongly and looked fit as a fiddle was Eddie Nketiah, but he has been overlooked despite being the England U21 record goalscorer.
But Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White are all included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for England’s new UEFA Nations League 2022 campaign, with games against Germany, Italy and Hungary twice.
Southgate acknowledged that Arteta had had a word about resting Saka, but had his own thoughts on the subject. “I think Mikel Arteta knows we look after players well,” he said. “We’ve given all the players a week off this week, which not everyone has done, but we feel that has worked well for us.
“We’ve had a good discussion around Bukayo Saka and all the players from Arsenal. All the players are carrying niggles after a long season, but they all want to be here.”
Lee Carsley has also named his U21 squad to side face Czech Republic, Kosovo, Albania and Slovenia in the UEFA U21 EURO qualifying games, and has included Emile Smith-Rowe and Falorin Balogun.
The squads are meeting up tomorrow to begin preparations, so the players have hardly had much recovery time, so all we can do is hope that our players remain fit and healthy and get a good break after these matches…
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