Arsenal face Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice blow as pre-season plans impacted by England draw

Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka could return late for Arsenal after Engand's Euro 2024 matchup
-Credit: (Image: Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

The European Championships have offered some brilliant drama and some disappointing displays, particularly from England and France. Arsenal are watching on with a keen interest with several players still taking part in the tournament following the conclusion of the group stage and start of the knockout rounds.

David Raya’s Spain take on Georgia, Kai Havertz’s Germany will face Denmark, William Saliba will face off with Leandro Trossard as France take on Belgium and Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka will take on Slovakia with England. The key hope will be that they all avoid injury but the further they progress through the tournament the later they will all return to Arsenal as well.

The Gunners will kick off their pre-season tour of the United States when they leave on July 21 with their currently scheduled clash with Manchester United on July 28 taking place in Los Angeles at Stan Kroenke’s SoFi Stadium. They then face Liverpool on August 1 in Philadelphia but could yet play another side which is yet to be announced as to who, where and when.

England have been handed a very favourable side of the Euros now with only Italy, who they could face in the quarter-finals, and the Netherlands, who they could face in the semi-finals, in the top ten of FIFA’s rankings. Germany, Spain, France, Belgium and Portugal are on the other side of the draw.

This means of course that both Rice and Saka are being tipped to see their stay in Germany extended into the latter stages. That is of course if England’s underwhelming performances are curtailed and they find their stride to knock out Slovakia in the last-16.

The last-16 takes place this weekend with Germany playing on Saturday, 8pm UK time. On Sunday England play at 5pm, with Spain kicking off a few hours later at 8pm while on Monday at 5pm it is France vs Belgium. The quarter-finals take place between July 5 and 6 while the semi-finals take place between July 9 and 10.

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The final of the Euros takes place on July 14. After England’s favourable draw, it could be therefore that the extended holiday which will be given to Rice, Saka and of course, Aaron Ramsdale, could see them miss the initial flight to the States.

Arsenal have an incredibly tricky start to the campaign with games away to Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City in the opening five matches. Having their squad and any potential signings ready will be of the utmost importance hence why the summer tournaments are providing such a keen interest to the club.