'Keep hold of him': Theo Walcott urges Arsenal not to sell 'amazing' player this summer
Theo Walcott has urged Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to keep hold of Bukayo Saka amid interest from Premier League giants Manchester City and Liverpool.
The young Englishman will enter the final two years of his contract at the start of next month. Arsenal would undoubtedly love for him to extend his deal, but nothing has been agreed between the two parties just yet.
As a result, Premier League champions Manchester City have reportedly stepped up their interest in Saka and are closely monitoring his contract situation.
Walcott was asked about Pep Guardiola’s reported interest in his young compatriot, and the Englishman claimed that he believes Saka will be at Arsenal next season.
Theo Walcott urges Arsenal to keep hold of Bukayo Saka
The Englishman said on talkSPORT today: “Well, there is obviously a transitional stage at Arsenal, that Mikel is part of, and Saka is massively part of it as well. The young crop of players at Arsenal coming through, I feel they need to keep hold of him, simple as that.
“Obviously, when Manchester City comes knocking on the door, it is such a hard thing for any player really to turn down. He is very young, but I feel that he likes the area of London in Arsenal, the fans have been fantastic, and at the Emirates, which is one of the best stadiums I have ever played in. He has great support, and I will be intrigued.
“My heart says he will be at Arsenal next season, and we will see after that. He needs to think that the playing opportunities will be limited at Manchester City. He will, of course, be more likely to win things, but it is not saying Arsenal won’t win things.
“I think they are in that phase, they are slowly starting to get there. They would have taken fifth at the start of the season, given how it went. I am very hopeful he will be at Arsenal next season, I am pretty sure of that.”
Saka, despite only being 20, is Arsenal’s best player and is up there with the best in the country. He has been brilliant for the Gunners over the last few years, while he’s now a key member of the England setup as well.
Arsenal simply have to tie ‘amazing’ Saka down to a new deal – he’s one player they simply cannot afford to lose, especially to a fellow Premier League rival.
However, when you roll back the years and think of what happened with the likes of Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, you can’t blame a Gooner for being worried, can you?
Arsenal will surely sit down with Saka and offer him a new deal in the coming weeks and months. They can’t let it drag on for too long, but going by how much the club means to him having come through the ranks, there is a very good chance that he’ll commit his future at the Emirates.
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