Arsenal’s England internationals could miss warm-up fixtures for EURO 2020 if the Gunners progress to the UEFA Europa League final.
Sky Sports News report that Gareth Southgate expects to name his preliminary England squad for this summer’s tournament on May 25th, with the Europa League final set to take place the next day on the 26th, which could cause problems for the likes of Bukayo Saka ahead of the EUROs.
An all-English UEFA Champions League and Europa League final could see as many as 13 players miss out on pre-EURO friendlies as England prepare the continental competition, with Chelsea set to face Manchester City in Istanbul whilst Manchester United are all but through to the finale of the second-tier European competition after winning the first-leg against Roma 6-2, with Arsenal need to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Villarreal this evening.
Due to the condensed football calendar, all of England’s players will have at least a week’s rest after they finish their domestic seasons before joining up with the national team this summer if selected, meaning any Arsenal players called up will have little-to-no rest if the Gunners make the Europa League final.
Tonight’s fixture against Villarreal is easily Arsenal’s most important game this season, yet even for the likes of Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Calum Chambers, who could all have just a week’s break should they be called up for international duty, this news should not steer their heads away from the goal of getting the north London side into the Europa League final.
Winning the competition will overturn Arsenal’s season from one to forget to a potential turning point in getting the club back in the right direction, and for the squad’s England hopefuls, this latest update for EURO 2020 will derail their motivation as we head into this evening’s huge game.