Mikel Arteta discusses Bukayo Saka’s Arsenal future after Liverpool FC link
Mikel Arteta says that any potential interest from other clubs in Bukayo Saka only highlights how well he's been performing for Arsenal
Mikel Arteta has refused to be drawn on the recent speculation about Bukayo Saka’s future and has hinted that a new contract for the attacker could be on the agenda for Arsenal.
Saka has been earning a reputation as one of English football’s most promising young attacking talents in recent months and he has earned lots of praise for his performances for the Gunners this season.
The 20-year-old has scored six goal and made four assists in 20 Premier League appearances this season and he also notched up four appearances for England at Euro 2020 last summer.
The Transfer Window Podcast recently claimed that Liverpool FC may be interested in landing Saka following his eye-catching performances for club and country, with the England international’s contract at The Emirates set to expire in the summer of 2024.
However, Arteta has insisted that any interest from other clubs would only a positive for the Gunners and shows how well Saka has been developing at the north London club.
Asked about whether Saka’s is going to start attracting interest from other clubs and whether that factors into new contract discussions, Arteta replied: “I think that’s great news when you have a lot of talk and people willing for you players, it’s a really good sign. They should be proud because that means they are doing extremely good work.”
Arteta was also asked whether he thinks Saka has the potential to develop into a “world-class” player at The Emirates.
“I don’t like to put these labels,” he continued. “I am really happy with Bukayo, and with what he’s doing, with how he’s development and the importance he has on the team.
“Most importantly with the impact that he’s able to make in each game. This is something that we want to keep improving in each game, because he has the capacity to do it.”
Pressed on whether Arsenal are planning to open talks with Saka over a new deal, Arteta replied: “There is time to talk about this business.”
Saka netted Arsenal’s opener in their 2-1 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League earlier in the month as Arteta’s side were pegged back and beaten by Pep Guardiola’s men.
Meanwhile, Arteta also revealed that fellow Arsenal graduate Emile Smith Rowe has not been featuring from the start in recent games due to a niggling injury issue that has prevented him from training regularly.
“Well, the main reason [behind him being a substitute] was because he wasn’t completely fit to play,” said Arteta.
“He’s been carrying an issue, and that hasn’t allowed him to train regularly, to play regularly, and that was the main reason. Because in his performances, and what he did before that international break – there is no question that he was one of our more important and consistent players.
“The only reason that changed the dynamic was that – and obviously now that the team (has been) doing well, there are other players who are doing well, and have been performing well. That changed the situation, but I am very happy with him.”