Arsenal are supposedly struggling to lock down Bukayo Saka, and recent rumors are a tad bothersome, but it makes complete sense.
Few names are hotter at Arsenal right now than Bukayo Saka. The youngster was named man of the match in the breakout attacking performance against Newcastle, and since then, the name of the game has been locking him down to a new contract.
As the youngster is still on the base £3,000 a week salary, it’s past due to get him a big boy salary to reflect the big boy contributions he’s making.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, it isn’t looking to be as easy as we’d like. Saka has apparently made it clear that without European football, he’s more likely to move on this summer. Even if that means going to a direct rival like Liverpool or Manchester United.
It doesn’t leave a good taste in my mouth that he could be so easily moved to another team, where we’d have to face him multiple times a year, but nevertheless, assuming these rumors are true I don’t blame Saka at all.
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Here’s the thing—Saka has to understand what’s important to his development. What he needs right now is game time, preferably at his favored position at winger.
That’s hard to do without European football. Saka will be blocked out at leftback by the return of Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney, meanwhile he will be competing with at least Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson for two winger roles.
That’s assuming Pierre-Emerick leaves. And there’s still that chance he doesn’t. Which makes the crowd in the attack even tougher.
Without European football, Saka has less chances of finding consistent playing time, which is the No. 1 thing he needs right now. So yeah, it may cause a sickening feeling to know that he could leave, but we have to see where he’s coming from. He needs to play, and he needs to play high quality opponents, otherwise how is he going to get better?
As if the Gunners needed any added motivation to make a move up the table and bulldoze through the Europa League, do it for Bukayo Saka. Losing him would be a monumental setback that we really don’t want to have to weather.
In the meantime, we can still enjoy watching him shred opponents for a few more months at least. And keep faith. Mikel Arteta is capable of some pretty incredible things.