Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka is expected to miss England’s friendly meeting with Romania on Sunday after picking up a hip injury.
The 19-year-old stole the headlines in England’s last game, a 1-0 win over Austria, playing the full 90 minutes and bagging his first senior goal for the Three Lions.
Having played a full game just four days earlier, Saka was not expected to feature heavily against Romania anyway, but The Athletic note that he will have no choice but to watch on from the sidelines after picking up a hip injury in training.
For this to come seven days before England’s Euro 2020 campaign gets underway is hardly ideal for Saka or manager Gareth Southgate, but fortunately, the injury is not believed to be significant enough to jeopardise his involvement at the tournament.
In Saka’s absence, Southgate has a star-studded cast of wingers ready to step in. Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are all expected to see some minutes after arriving to camp late, meaning the Arsenal man was always likely to miss out anyway.
One player who is expected to feature on Sunday is Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, who has stepped up his recovery from the groin injury which has kept him sidelined since February.
“The plan, as it was on Wednesday, is that he’ll be involved in the game,” Southgate said. “The last few days of training have been positive for him.”
While Southgate appears positive about Henderson’s chances of being ready for England’s tournament opener against Croatia on June 13, he could not offer the same level of confidence towards Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire, whose ankle injury continues to cause him problems.
“With any injury it’s impossible to predict 100%,” the England boss added. “The medical team are pleased with his progress, especially the last couple of days. We know there’s always that risk but all of the guide is that he should be available.”