Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka both played another 90 minutes on Wednesday, in a rather worrying sign for Arsenal.
Both Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka have been two of Arsenal’s busier players in the early months of the new season. Only three players have made more appearances than their 11 each, yet the pair aren’t getting any rest over the international break.
Tierney is certainly the worse off of the two. He played 120 minutes of football on Thursday, then 90 minutes on Sunday, then another 90 minutes on Wednesday. 300 minutes in under a week.
Saka also featured in all three games for England. He played 90 minutes against Ireland and Iceland, with a further 52 against Belgium in between – coming off the bench in the first half.
The issue for Arsenal is that on top of that, Sead Kolasinac tested positive for coronavirus. They can’t use the Bosnian defender as a rotation option in either of their next two games.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is the only real alternative remaining at wing-back, and there’s pretty much no option other than Tierney at full-back.
Mikel Arteta could look to young Joel Lopez, as we recently suggested, or Pablo Mari to play left-centre-back if he’s finally available.
But most likely, we’ll end up seeing more starts for Tierney and Saka while we cross our fingers and pray to avoid injuries.