Bukayo Saka has suddenly emerged from the fringes of the Arsenal academy, straight into the senior first team this season and suddenly the 18-year-old midfielder is on everyone’s radar. The vultures have begun to circle with the news that contract negotiations have become protracted. Liverpool in particular, are closely monitoring the situation as they contemplate moves for both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal fans are hoping that the club can agree a deal quickly before the player takes his chances and seizes an opportunity elsewhere. The board need to move heaven and earth to show that they haven’t become a selling club and end speculation on the latest exhilarating talent to become available via the youth system.
Arsenal lost Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2017 to Liverpool and the club should now repel any unwanted advances for the jewels in their crown.
Jurgen Klopp has already spoken of his admiration for Martinelli by labelling him as “a talent of the century” and “an incredible striker”. Liverpool have the ambition and cash to test Arsenal’s resolve in the summer.
The Brazilian’s valuation has significantly jumped from £7m to £16.2m and his value will continue to increase with each incredible performance. So far, he has been phenomenal, scoring 10 goals in 21 games for the Gunners and no one could rule out a £50m bid within the next 12 months.
Martinelli aside, there are a whole host of young players including Bukayo Saka that will come good in the next 18 months and Arsenal need to be very careful how they manage the situation. Some clubs deprived of success and funds begin to sell off their assets, something Arsenal have been guilty of in the past.
Of course, it’s true that some players from the academy will follow the likes of Robbie Burton, Charlie Gilmour, Xavier Amaechi and Serge Gnabry out of the Emirates exit door but Arsenal can’t afford to lose these future superstars.