With less than a week until the 2020/21 campaign on the horizon, teams across Europe have had to factor in September’s international break into their preparations.
Arsenal managed to play another friendly – a 3-2 home loss to Aston Villa – ahead of kick off at Craven Cottage but had nine players leave north London for their international duties.
Bernd Leno, Granit Xhaka, Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles received senior call-ups, while Matteo Guendouzi, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka represented their countries at Under-21 level.
Here, football.london runs through each players’ involvements so far during the break and whether they have another game to play before returning to Arsenal.
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Bernd Leno: Having to compete with Manuel Neuer at international level, Germany caps would be hard for any other goalkeeper to come by in this generation.
So much so that by playing the entirety of their UEFA Nations League game against Switzerland, Bernd Leno was making his first international start since a 5-1 win over Azerbaijan in October 2017. Despite not making the 2018 World Cup squad, since moving to Arsenal, the 28-year-old has made most squads but has made the bench at most.
During the 1-1 draw, Leno was surprisingly busy as Switzerland broke through Germany with ease throughout the match, ending the game with 20 shots to Germany’s 16. The goalkeeper made five saves on the night, a late on from a Xhaka free kick being crucial. For the Swiss goal, he slightly overstepped in his shuffle across goal, giving him very little chance of adjusting to save Silvan Widmer’s shot.
Germany sit 3rd in Group Four having drawn their first game with Spain 1-1 too.
Granit Xhaka: Full time captain of Switzerland, Xhaka had a slow start to his reign leading the team…