Arsenal star Bukayo Saka is absent from England training today, but there is nothing to be concerned about.
The England international, who is celebrating his 22nd birthday today, joined up with the England squad on Monday alongside Declan Rice, Aaron Ramsdale and Eddie Nketiah, but is not participating in training today with the others.
This may have led to fears that Saka picked up an injury following Arsenal’s dramatic victory over Manchester United on Sunday, but his absence has now been explained.
England are set to face Ukraine in a Euro qualifier, and Scotland in a friendly match, during this international break.
Journalist Henry Winter has revealed that Saka is not training today, alongside Callum Wilson and Levi Colwill, as a standard practice to manage their workloads.
“Bukayo Saka, Callum Wilson and Levi Colwill not training today. Usual load management. Lewis Hall and Bashir Humphreys drafted in temporarily from Under-21s,” he tweeted.
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Saka’s load management
Given that Saka appeared in every single Premier League game last season, and has so far started every game this season, there has been some concern amongst Arsenal fans that he could burn out.
Playing every game for England in the international breaks may not help Saka either, and having Champions League football this season means he is likely to play even more high-intensity games.
Mikel Arteta may need to consider rotating him out of the starting XI in some league games as the season goes on, with Reiss Nelson and Leandro Trossard both capable of stepping in on the right-wing.
Whilst Saka has a phenomenal injury record, and is arguably Arsenal’s best player, his club and country should be cautious about over-playing him, and given that he has been allowed to miss training today, it seems that there is a strategy in place when it comes to managing his workload.
Saka has scored twice in four games this season so far, and after winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award, he will be hoping to build upon his stunning campaign last year.