When international breaks arrive, fixtures are paused and operations at club training grounds wind down dramatically, catering only for those few players who did not join up with their respective nations.
But, in the Premier League, who are those few? Planet Sport investigates the English top flight clubs to determine who’s jetting off, and who’s staying at home.
The Gunners originally lost 14 senior players to 10 countries in total, though Brazil’s Gabriel Magalhaes, alongside England’s Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka, have since withdrawn from their respective national squads.
However, those players are not available for training with Mikel Arteta’s squad either, so it’s a very lonely couple of weeks at London Colney.
All the call-ups leave them with just seven members of their 21-man-strong squad. The most notable players still with the club are German goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Japanese full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu and French striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Villa are slightly less affected than Arsenal, but have still lost nine senior players to eight different nations, in addition to two others to the England youth set-up. It could have been even more, but Argentines Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez are still at Bodymoor Heath due to their serving international suspensions.
That leaves Villa with a reasonably healthy 12 members of their squad, which also numbers 21 players, with midfielders Marvelous Nakamba and Douglas Luiz among their registered internationals who will take no part in this break.
Thomas Frank’s west London outfit have lost eight senior players, alongside 18-year-old full-back Fin Stevens to the Wales under-21 squad. Three of those nine players have gone to Denmark, including a first call-up in nine months for Christian Eriksen, with the remaining five split evenly among five other nations.
In much the same vein as Villa, Frank’s squad has certainly been decimated, but nor has it exactly been picked clean either. There are still 16 members of his league squad training with the club this week, with defenders Ethan Pinnock, Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen and winger Tariqe Fosu not called up this time around.
The Seagulls have also lost eight players in total, to eight different nations, with seven of them being called up for their respective senior national squads, and one, Tariq Lamptey, going to England’s under-21 side.
Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is among the names jetting off, alongside Leandro Trossard and Jakub Moder.
Again, Brighton have lost a number of players, and key ones too, but they have retained more members of their squad than they have lost. There are still 15 members of Graham Potter’s squad sticking around, with full-backs Marc Cucurella and Joel Veltman and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez remaining on the south coast.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, everyone’s favourite long-ball team only have six players away with their nations, and only two of them – Maxwel Cornet and Wout Weghorst – are representing teams outside the British Isles. The other four in question are goalkeepers Wayne Hennessey and Nick Pope, full-back Connor Roberts and centre-back Nathan Collins.
That leaves the Clarets in a happy position in terms of training during the international break, with 18 members of Sean Dyche’s squad still due to report to Barnfield. The only two other full internationals that Burnley have on their books, who were not picked this time around, are Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Matej Vydra.
It’s an altogether different story for the Blues, who have almost half of their entire squad away, with 13 players departing for their respective nations from a squad of 27. Interestingly, all of those 13 players are taking part in their teams’ senior squads, with no Chelsea players called up by any country’s age-group set-up.
Striker Romelu Lukaku is the big name who misses out this time, dropped from the Belgian squad despite 68 goals in 101 appearances for his country. Elsewhere, the injured Ben Chilwell could not play for England and neither could Reece James.
The big story of the England squad announcement was the fact it contained three Palace players – Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell and Conor Gallagher, but the influence of Selhurst Park is being felt more widely. The Eagles have had nine players called up, one of whom – Michael Olise – is an under-21 international with France.
The remainder are all senior players, and given Jeffrey Schlupp was unlucky enough to not receive a call-up to Ghana’s squad, which leaves Patrick Vieira with 16 available players to train with throughout the break. Bar Schlupp, there are no surprises in this one.
That any international team wants a slice of Everton after the season they have had may come as something of a surprise to many, but the Toffees have still lost seven players. Six of those have gone to their senior national teams, split evenly between six countries, while Anthony Gordon has been called up to England’s under-21 side.
Frank Lampard may be grateful that he retains 22 members of his squad as he battles to become familiar with them and retain their Premier League status. Understandably, Ukraine have no matches this time around, leaving full-back Vitaliy Mykolenko at Finch Farm, alongside winger Alex Iwobi and centre-backs Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey.
Jesse Marsch is another new manager desperately fighting the drop, and fortunately for him, his Whites squad has come out of this break just as unscathed as Everton. Just two of his players – full-back Stuart Dallas and winger Dan James – have been called up, leaving 22 players at Thorp Arch.
Injuries have reduced how many players have been called up – Kalvin Phillips, for example, would have likely been added to Gareth Southgate’s England squad were it not for his hamstring injury. However, Marsch has lucked out when it comes to call-ups, and it is now up to him to make the most of the players he still has.
By contrast, Brendan Rodgers has lost the availability of just over one third of his squad, with ten of his 27-strong group joining up with their nations. Nigeria have taken three of Leicester’s players, with six others going to one country each.
Injuries to centre-back Jonny Evans and goalkeeper Danny Ward have prevented them from going to the Northern Ireland and Wales squads, respectively, but there were also no calls for Belgian full-back Timothy Castagne or Zambian striker Patson Daka.
If one half of Merseyside has seen their fortunes slide this season, the other is still flying high, and Liverpool have had no fewer than 16 of their 27-man squad called up by their respective countries. Brazil have taken both midfielder Fabinho and goalkeeper Alisson, but England could also have added Trent Alexander-Arnold to captain Jordan Henderson’s call-up if it wasn’t for the right-back’s hamstring injury.
Considering the overall international pedigree of his squad, Jurgen Klopp will be happy he still has the use of 11 players. It is a group that includes forward Roberto Firmino, midfielder Thiago and centre-back Ibrahima Konate, meaning there are several first-team regulars not at risk of injury while playing for their countries.
Similarly, Pep Guardiola has also enjoyed another typically successful season with City, and he has lost 13 players out of a squad of 22. He also could have lost even more players, were it not for Ruben Dias’ injury that prevented him from joining up with Portugal.
The nine players he has left include, rather surprisingly, midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne, alongside Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, and English right-back Kyle Walker.
Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson has also missed out, giving several first-team names a break while their team-mates are away.
Across the city, United are also having to do without the services of 13 players, leaving Ralf Rangnick with exactly half of his first-team squad. Several nations have picked the Red Devils clean, with France, Sweden, England, Portugal and Brazil all picking two players each.
That still leaves Rangnick with 13 players at Carrington, though, and the major players to miss out have been English forwards Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho and Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea. In addition, all of those 13 call-ups have been for the respective nations’ senior sides, with none for any age-group teams.
Newly-minted Newcastle and their recently joined head coach Eddie Howe have lost five players to international call-ups, but their large squad means that still leaves them with 23 players, so there is plenty for Howe to do during the break. Brazil, Slovakia, Sweden, Paraguay, and New Zealand have all selected one Magpie each.
Switzerland may also have selected Fabian Schar if it wasn’t for the centre-back’s injury, and England were also halted in that area when it came to full-back Kieran Trippier.
However, there were no calls at all for Scottish winger Ryan Fraser – surprisingly, considering his recent form – or Northern Irish full-back Jamal Lewis.
The Canaries continue to struggle in the Premier League’s basement, but in comparison to some other teams, have had a surprisingly high ten players called up, out of a squad of 26. Scotland have been the biggest vultures, helping themselves to three of Dean Smith’s players in the shape of Billy Gilmour, Kenny McLean and Grant Hanley.
The remaining group of 16 includes a few big names who Smith will be happy to have retained, including American forward Josh Sargent and full-back Max Aarons, who missed out on a call to the England under-21 side. However, it will still be a nervy time as the battling Canaries hope all ten players return in good health.
On the south coast, Ralph Hasenhuttl has an identical situation to Norwich, having also been relieved of ten of his players, which leaves him with a group of 16.
England’s senior side have taken three of those ten, while Lee Carsley has also called up full-back Tino Livramento to the national under-21 side.
Of Southampton’s current senior internationals, it is only Irish striker Shane Long who could have reasonably expected to receive a call-up who didn’t get one. There may, however, also have been disappointment for another Irishman, 22-year-old midfielder Will Smallbone, who perhaps harboured hopes of an under-21 call.
Antonio Conte is another manager who joined his club only recently, and is experiencing just his second international break in the Spurs hotseat. This time around, he has seen half of his 22-man squad called away, with 11 players being given caps by 11 different nations.
Injuries to three England youth internationals in Ryan Sessegnon, Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga prevented that trio being called up for the Three Lions’ under-21 side. However, the likes of full-backs Sergio Reguilon and Ben Davies also missed out on senior calls, while Argentine centre-back Cristian Romero is suspended.
The Hornets are operating with a squad of 29 players this season, which is one of the most extensive groups in the league. Although they have had 11 members of that group called away on international duty, the remaining 18 should mean there is plenty Roy Hodgson can do in training over the break.
All 11 have been called up for their senior national squads, with Nigeria taking three of those players alongside two for Morocco. However, Chilean centre-back Francisco Sierralta and French midfielder Moussa Sissoko are among the names to be remaining in north-west London this time around.
The Irons’ recent renaissance has brought much attention back to the club’s players, and David Moyes has had to contend with losing eight members of his 24-man first-team squad. England have called up Declan Rice for their senior squad and Ben Johnson for the under-21s, with the other six going to six different nations.
Ukrainian striker Andriy Yarmolenko is, of course, a man who has not played international football in this break, while Kurt Zouma was omitted from the France squad for non-footballing reasons. Jamaican striker Michail Antonio and Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals have also missed out.
Last, but by no means least, we head to the West Midlands, where Bruno Lage has had to plan for the loss of nine of his 25-man squad. Expectedly, it is Portugal who have called up the most Wolves players, taking three of those nine. Two, goalkeeper Jose Sa and Joao Moutinho, are in the senior squad, while Fabio Silva is with the under-21s.
The remaining six are split among six different countries, with Wolves’ global squad meaning that outside of the Portuguese delegation, it is only defender Conor Coady and Leander Dendoncker who have joined up with European nations. The biggest names to miss out have been further Portuguese representation in Ruben Neves, Pedro Neto and Francisco Trincao.