Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has given a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian regarding his time at The Emirates Stadium.
The Spaniard spoke about several major issues he had at the club, ranging from the signing of Nicolas Pepe, failure to sign Wilfried Zaha, and Mesut Ozil’s attitude at the club.
He also spoke warmly of the young players he began to blood in North London, including one Bukayo Saka.
“But, look, I was happy at Arsenal and I remember the good things. The first year was magnificent, I gave opportunities to young players: Bukayo [Saka] played eight minutes and never touched the ball but that was a first step for a 17-year-old who’s going to be great.”
Emery handed Saka his debut for the club in a 2018 Europa League clash against Vorskla Poltava and he went on to become of the Spaniard’s first-team picture, especially in the Europa League.
In fact, he starred in a 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt earlier this season, scoring one and assisting two, in a game which first suggested his talent as a potential first-team regular.
But when Arsenal lost the return fixture against the German side at The Emirates, Emery was given the boot the next day.
Since then, Saka has remained in the Arsenal first-team but has been converted into a top left-back under Mikel Arteta.
The problem for Arsenal is in keeping him. Saka is currently out of contract in 2021 and the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich have been linked with his services by the Daily Mail, who suggest he is currently on just £3,000-a-week.
A recent report from The Sun has suggested the Gunners could hand Saka a £35,000-a-week offer to remain at The Emirates and Emery would clearly like to see his former player remain an Arsenal player.