18-year-old Bukayo Saka signs a new deal with the Gunners. The winger, a product of Arsenal’s academy, is now tied to the club till 2024 after signing a long-term contract on Wednesday.
Except for Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka is probably the most sought after young player in the Premier League. During Arsenal’s protracted and difficult discussions with the attacking midfielder, several clubs at home and abroad were said to be interested.
For Arsenal, a deal was vital, not just to secure a highly regarded talent, but to prevent an exodus from the academy. Failure to secure Saka would have been seen as an indication that he saw no future at a club where a lack of ambition and leadership are often mentioned.
Arteta has made it clear that Saka is very much in his plans for the rebuild and has been involved heavily with the player by promoting him since the restart of the Premier League and in conversation before, during, and after games.
Arteta believes that Saka could have the same impact as Raheem Sterling at Manchester City and will work towards getting him to that level. That must have been music to the youngster’s ears because it’s someone he greatly admires and wants to emulate in the future.
Arsenal’s contract makers have been far from convincing in previous seasons, with deals disintegrating or stagnating to a point where negotiations broke down and departures were inevitable.
Bukayo Saka, on his part, wanted assurances that he would be a first-team regular and what Arteta’s plans for the side were before signing the deal. Obviously, this was all done without the main players present, gone are the days when a manager sits down with a player to hammer out a deal face to face. It’s now agents, representatives, and accountants who meet up and relay the terms and conditions back and forth for rubber stamping.
The most important and exciting thing is that Saka is an Arsenal player until 2024 and during that time he will no doubt become a regular for England. Arteta said of the deal with Bukayo Saka:
“Bukayo is a talented and intelligent young player. He has impressed me with his work ethic and attitude to learn and adapt, and it has paid off in his performances.”
“I am excited to continue working with him to develop him further, and for him to help us achieve our goals.”