How the Arsenal players got on during the international break

By on November 22, 2023

Jorginho arsenal

It’s been another eventful international break and 17 Arsenal players were called-up for their nations. Let’s take a closer look at how they got on…

Arsenal’s England contingent

Aaron Ramsdale, Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka were all called up to represent England during the international break. The Three Lions weren’t at their best during their final two Euro 2024 qualification games against Malta and North Macedonia. But it didn’t matter as they had already secured their place in next summers finals with two games to spare after beating Italy back in  October.

Unfortunately, Ramsdale wasn’t given a chance to show what he can do as Gareth Southgate opted to play Jordan Pickford throughout both games. However, it was a different story for Arsenal two other Lions as Rice and Saka featured in both matches for their country. They were named on the bench during the 2-0 win over Malta last Friday but came on in the second half. Rice was solid as ever while Saka set-up Harry Kane for England’s second goal.

Rice and Saka both then started against North Macedonia on Monday night. Rice completed the full ninety minutes and was one of England’s better performers during a disappointing 1-1 draw. Saka showed flashes of his threat before being replaced in the 84th minute. He looked to have bagged another assist after setting up Jack Grealish for what appeared to be an excellent goal. However, it was ruled out by VAR as Grealish was offside. Thankfully both players appeared to come through the games unscathed so should return to Arsenal in good condition.

England can now look ahead and start preparing for Euro 2024. Fans are already excited and looking forward to buying tickets on sites such as seatsnet.com for the finals next summer. England will be among the favourites to go all the way in Germany with Arsenal duo Rice and Saka expected to play a key role for the Three Lions.

Saliba turns out for France

William Saliba was called-up for France after his excellent form with Arsenal. The defender has fierce competition for a starting spot in the middle of Didier Deschamps’ defence and Saliba had to settle for a place on the bench against Gibraltar on Saturday. However, the Gunners defender came on late in the second half as France humiliated the opposition 14-0!

The French then took on Greece on Tuesday night and Saliba was recalled to start. He played the entire game as France drew 2-2.

Jorginho returns for Italy

Jorginho has forced his way back into the Arsenal line-up lately – mainly due to injuries to the likes of Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard. However, the experienced midfielder has taken his chance and his impressive form led to a call-up back into the Italy set-up. Jorginho started for the Italians against North Macedonia on Friday night and missed a golden opportunity to get himself on the scoresheet. The 31-year-old missed a penalty to make it 2-0 just before half-time.

It wasn’t important in the end as Federico Chiesa scored shortly after to double Italy’s lead and made it 3-0 on the stoke of half-time. The Italian’s ran out 5-2 victors in the end to put themselves in pole position to finish second in Group C and join England in booking their place at Euro 2024.

Heartbreak of Zinchenko

Oleksandr Zinchenko represented Ukraine in their crucial winner-takes-all clash with Italy on Monday night. He faced-off against team-mate Jorginho – who started for the Italians in the heart of midfield. It turned out to be heartbreak for the Ukrainian’s. They needed to win to leapfrog Italy and snatch the final automatic qualification place for Euro 2024.

However, in true Italian style, they defended for their lives and took away a 0-0 draw that was enough to book their place in the finals. The game wasn’t without it’s controversy as Ukraine were denied a last minute penalty, but Zinchenko’s side will now have to go through the play-off to seal their place at the Euro’s next summer.

Samba boys struggle

Arsenal’s Brazilian stars were all called-up for their country during the break. Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli were both included in the squad following their excellent club form this season. Gabriel Jesus was also called-up despite not featuring in Arsenal’s last five games due to a hamstring injury.

Gabriel and Martinelli both started in Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Friday. Gabriel started alongside Marquinhos in the middle of defence and did reasonably well before being replaced late in the second half as Brazil chased an equalising goal. Martinelli also started and got off to the dream start after putting Brazil ahead with a fine finish – his first goal for his country. However, Colombia came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to a double from Liverpool’s Luis Diaz.

The Brazilian’s then faced-off against rivals Argentina on Wednesday night. Jesus returned to start up front and came through the full 90 minutes. Gabriel and Martinelli also started the game as Brazil crashed to a 1-0 defeat. Thankfully all three players came through the game unscathed, which is great news for Arsenal.

Trossard on target

Leandro Trossard continued his goal-scoring form for Arsenal into the international break. The attacker scored in his last two club games against Sevilla and Burnley before the break, so unsurprisingly he was called-up for Belgium. Trossard was named on the bench for his country as they narrowly beat Serbia 1-0 last week. Yannick Carrasco goal the only goal of the game but Trossard was introduced as a second half substitute.

He then completed the full ninety minutes as the Belgians thrashed Azerbaijan 5-0 at the weekend. The Arsenal man completed the rout with a fine finish after Romelu Lukaku had scored four first half goals.

Elsewhere, Kai Havertz started for Germany and was on target during a 3-2 defeat to Turkey. Havertz opened the scoring early on but the Germans lost on home soil as their preparations continued ahead of hosting the Euro’s next summer. German then faced off against Austria on Tuesday night and Havertz played 77 minutes during a 2-1 defeat.

Takehiro Tomiyasu was also called up to represent Japan. The Arsenal defender was rested for their 5-0 win over Myanmar last week but returned to start against Syria in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. Tomiyasu completed 75 minutes before being replaced as Japan ran out 5-0 victors to continue their impressive run of form.

Jacub Kiwior completed the full ninety minutes as Poland drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic in their Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday night. He then started once again at Poland beat Latvia 2-0 on Tuesday.

David Raya started for Spain in their Euro qualifier against Cyprus on Thursday night. The Spaniard’s ran out easy 3-1 winners but Raya will have been disappointed not to keep a clean sheet. The Arsenal No.1 was then rested for Spain’s resounding 7-1 win away to Georgia with Unai Simon keeping goal.

Mohamed Elneny completed 90 minutes as Egypt beat Dijouti 6-0 thanks largely to four goals from Mo Salah. Elneny was then rested for the 1-0 win over Ethiopia in their AFCON qualifier.

Goalkeeper Alex Runarsson didn’t get off the bench in either of Iceland’s game during the break while Karl Hein kept goal as Estonia lost 2-0 to Austria and 5-0 to Sweden.

Mikel Arteta will assess all his players when they return to London Colney on Thursday and Friday ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Brentford on Saturday evening.