Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s Academy have produced a ‘perfect example’ in Bukayo Saka and paid homage to those who’ve helped him develop as a player and a man.
After lengthy negotiations with the club, it was confirmed today that the 18-year-old had finally agreed terms on a new deal that ties him to the Gunners until 2024.
One of a clutch of highly-talented players to make the step up to the first team in the last couple of years, Saka’s decision to stay at the Emirates has been greeted with excitement by supporters who’ve been impressed by his versatility and end product.
Given the club are unlikely to be spending big money in the transfer window, Arteta was quick to stress the importance of having a core of talented youngsters at his disposal.
“I am delighted, he fully deserves this new deal,” said Arteta about Saka’s new deal.
“I think he represents every value that this football club stands for.
“He has come through the academy, and earned his respect with hard work and accountability and you can see the progression that he is having as a player but as well as a person.
“He is a player that his team-mates really like, that I admire and he has a big hunger to become even better so I think it is the perfect thing to do right now.
He went on: “It is really important because one of the main foundations that we need at this club is people from the academy.
“So, first of all, thank you to everyone who has contributed all those years in the academy with Bukayo, the coaches, the director of the academy, probably Per at the end as well, because they have done a great job.
“I am not just talking about him as a player and how he has been educated, but as a man as well because as I said, he is the perfect example of what we are looking for.”