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Saka withdraws from England squad after positive COVID-19 test

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Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has withdrawn from the England squad after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 20-year-old reported for duty at St George’s Park along with the rest of the squad at the start of the week, taking part in a training session on Tuesday.

He however fell ill on Wednesday and was isolated before he returned a positive test and was sent home.

A statement from the FA on Thursday evening confirmed: “Bukayo Saka has left the England camp having tested positive for Covid-19.

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“The Arsenal player has been isolating from the rest of the squad at St. George’s Park since Wednesday and has now returned home.”

Saka expressed sadness after the forced withdrawal in a Twitter post, stating that he is gutted to have had to leave the camp.

Gareth Southgate’s side are due to face Switzerland on Saturday and the Ivory Coast on Tuesday, with both matches taking place at Wembley, as they prepare for the World Cup at the end of the year.

England only have three training camps left before the tournament in Qatar and this month’s international break has been far from ideal for Southgate.

Aaron Ramsdale, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Tammy Abraham have also had to withdraw from the squad to be replaced by Sam Johnstone, Kyle Walker-Peters, Tyrick Mitchell and Ollie Watkins.

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Johnstone later withdrew due to illness and was replaced by Fraser Forster, who returns to the squad for the first time since 2017.

The side will however not replace Saka.

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