Mikel Arteta says he is hopeful that Arsenal can convince Bukayo Saka to stay at the club even if they fail to finish in the Premier League’s top four this season.
Saka’s current deal at the Emirates Stadium reportedly expires in 2024, with the club eager for him to sign a new one.
However, the 20-year-old has been linked with a move to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
And the player himself has expressed his desire to play in the Champions League.
Saka recently told Sky Sports:
“I think the Champions League creates so many special nights, and it’s a dream for me still to experience one of them and hopefully many more of them.”
When asked by the Media if the club needed Champions League football to keep their star youngster (Saka).
“I don’t know. We’re going to have a conversation with the player internally and then with his environment, agent, and family, who will be extremely important, so everybody is on board.
“We desire to keep Bukayo as long as possible because we are delighted.
“He’s part of our club, and he’s our DNA.
“He’s growing, and he’s maturing. His importance to the team is unquestionable.
“And we want to keep our best talent at the club, that’s for sure.”
Arsenal sits sixth in the Premier League, with four points behind fourth-placed West Ham but three games.
Saka has emerged as a critical player for the Gunners, having played the most games at the club this season,
While only Emile Smith Rowe (nine) has scored more than his seven goals.
No one has created more than the England international’s 40 chances, producing eight big chances.
Whereby a team-mate would be expected to score, which is three more than other.
Arteta also outlined the balance Arsenal must find between allowing their best young talents.
While also strengthening the team with big signings.
“Here, there are two things. First, it’s trying to build a squad that you have room for those players to develop.
“And the other one is to have those players developing when we are incredibly competitive,” he added.
“Because if you sign three top players, and then those kids start not playing, what happens? You cannot have it both ways.
“If you sign big players with big money, the money has to be on the pitch – which means that these players will not be on the pitch.
“So we need to find the balance, but with the standards that this club requires, which is to be the best.
“This is what we are trying to do, but without killing what is growing.”
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