Arsenal have been boosted by the news Bukayo Saka has been passed fit for the Premier League clash with West Ham, but Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will seek out his England counterpart Gareth Southgate to manage the youngster’s workload.
The versatile winger was absent for the Europa League defeat to Olympiacos on Thursday on account of a hamstring issue.
He has worked on his rehabilitation during the course of the week, passed a fitness test on Saturday, and was given the green light to face the Hammers.
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“As a precaution, Bukayo was left out of the squad to play Olympiacos on Thursday,” read a statement on Arsenal’s official website. “During this week, Bukayo has responded well to treatment, has participated in training and is now available for selection.”
Saka’s absence for Arsenal did not prevent him being called up by England for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
Arteta is aware the teenager could be a huge asset to England, but wants his workload managed.
Asked if he is concerned about Saka’s workload, Arteta said: “Yes, but that’s why we need some really good communication between ourselves and the player and the national team.
“I know how important he is for us and for the summer with England, so let’s make the right call and let’s think about the short term but the future as well.”
Brazil forward Willian also sat out the meeting with Olympiacos, and he will need to pass a fitness test before the meeting with West Ham on Sunday.
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“Willian missed Thursday’s match with Olympiacos due to a tight calf," Arsenal said in a statement. “Willian is recovering well, has participated in training and will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s match regarding his availability.”
Arsenal go into the meeting with West Ham occupying 10th place in the Premier League, but a win over the Hammers would cut the gap between the two to four points.
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