Paul Merson instructs Arsenal to sell key duo if they won’t commit to new deals
Paul Merson questions whether Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe will remain at Arsenal in the long term
Paul Merson believes Arsenal should sell Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe if the Gunners duo don’t want to commit to new long-term contracts this summer.
The north London side have relied heavily on the creativity and goals of Saka and Smith Rowe in Mikel Arteta’s second full season in charge as the Gunners challenge for a top-four finish.
Saka and Smith Rowe have successfully transitioned from Arsenal academy players into first-team regulars and England internationals thanks to their prolific performances.
While Smith Rowe signed a six-year contract at Arsenal back in July to ward off interest from Aston Villa, Saka has just more than two years left to run on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium.
The 20-year-old was been linked with a potential move to Liverpool FC but the England international remains a key player for Arteta as the Spanish head coach looks to continue his rebuild of the north London side.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson reckons the Gunners should be trying to convince Saka and Smith Rowe to commit to new five-year deals this summer – and if the pair refuse to put pen to paper then they should sell while their stock is high.
“They are top drawer and they are going to be vital to Arsenal finishing in the top four this season. But I think Arsenal should get them tied down now,” Merson wrote about Saka and Smith Rowe in his Daily Star column.
“They should be talking now about five-year contracts. Get them signed, and if they don’t want to sign, then sell them in the summer.
“Don’t hang around and let them run their contracts down and let them go for next to nothing. Test the water because there will be teams chasing them.”
Smith Rowe has scored nine times and has made two assists in 18 appearances in the Premier League this season, while Saka has returned seven goals and four assists in 24 games.
Arsenal will return to Premier League action with a trip to Watford on Sunday before Leicester City travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday 13 March.