Why Arsenal should offer Bukayo Saka fresh terms at the earliest
The 18-year-old made his senior professional bow for the Gunners in the Europe League last year but he has broken into manager Unai Emery’s plans for the Premier League this term, having impressed the head-coach with his development and commitment during the Gunners’ pre-season tour of the United States.
Saka grabbed the headlines with a man-of-the-match performance in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 1 of the UEFA Europa League, scoring his first senior goal in the process and the talented attacker has started each of the Gunners’ last three Premier League games heading into the international break.
The London-born starlet has usurped fellow academy graduate Reiss Nelson in Emery’s pecking order and justified the manager’s selection with yet another wonderful display in the 1-1 draw against Man United, assisting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to help the Gunners come back from a goal down.
The 18-year-old, who starred for Arsenal’s U-18 and U-23 sides in the previous campaign, has made a seamless transition to the highly competitive atmosphere of the Premier League this season, with the teenager hardly ever looking overwhelmed by the presence of more accomplished stars around him.
Saka has more than held his own in front of big commanding centre-backs in the league while also managing to get the fans off their feet with his lightning pace, trickery and eye for a killer pass.
However, perhaps the most impressive thing about him has been the end product in his game, which so often goes missing among other young players in the same mould.
Well, if the first few games this season are anything to go by, it is pretty easy to see as to why Bukayo Saka is held in such high regard at the Emirates.
The teenager has already illustrated a level of maturity that belies his tender years, both in terms of decision-making and composure in crucial situations in the final third, and he certainly has a big future ahead of him.
The Gunners secured with long-term future of Joe Willock with a brand new deal last month and Saka, who is also making waves with his promising displays in the first-team, deserves to be rewarded with fresh and improved terms.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal offering Bukayo Saka a new deal would be yet another step that indicates the club’s renewed trust in their academy prospects.
The Gunners currently have some top-quality up and coming starlets from their academy pushing for a place in the senior ranks and holding on to them is certainly indispensable to the success of their project under Emery.
Arsenal have been left red-faced by the development of some of the youngsters who slipped out of their hands, with the rise of Donyell Malen and Jeff Reine-Adelaide at PSV Eindhoven and Lyon being prime examples of their failure to preserve academy prospects in recent times.
With that in mind, a new deal for Saka should be a top priority for the Gunners, as it would go a long way towards shielding the 18-year-old from foreign interest.
British-based youngsters migrating to the German Bundesliga in search of more playtime has become a common trend these days and Arsenal should ensure that Saka stays put.
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Plus, Saka is only going to get better with time and a new contract would be a clear and obvious vote of confidence from the club hierarchy in the player’s abilities. That is likely to make him feel more secure at the club, strengthen his position and work wonders for his overall development.
That said, Arsenal should make it a top priority to reward Bukayo Saka with a new deal at the earliest.