Saturday, October 1, 2022

Arteta ‘very confident’ on Saka contract extension

After a very promising summer of incoming transfer business, there are still things for Arsenal to sort out, not least of which is a contract extension for Bukayo Saka.

The 20 year old still has two years left on a deal signed in 2020, but his importance to the side has grown hugely in that time and he is more than deserving of improved terms.

At his press conference today ahead of the Gunners trip to Bournemouth tomorrow evening, Mikel Arteta was asked about the situation and sounded a positive note.

“I’m very confident that we as a club, Bukayo, his family, his agent, everybody, we are very much aligned with what we want to achieve,” he said.

“Now it’s about putting it on a piece of paper.”

He did make it clear that he’d like it to happen sooner rather than later, to ensure full focus on the season ahead – especially with a World Cup happening in November and December.

“I would like that to get done because I don’t want the player or anybody to be distracted while we are in the middle of the season, but those things take time,” he continued.

“They have to go through the right process, and I think the process has been really good.”

Until it’s signed there’s always a little worry, but the manager does sound like he’s confident it will happen, and after successful negotiations with agent who also represents Eddie Nketiah and Flo Balogun, let’s hope the club can this one done ASAP.

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Merlin’s Panini

Now is probably a good time for us in these negotiations given other players are stepping up. Saka is no longer the clear star player but he is still a very important player. Had this been negotiated last year I think his position was stronger. Still, either way he deserves the inevitable bump up in wages.

Johnny 4 Hats

Saka will come into his own again when teams start fearing our left side. Up until now, we have been a one flank side and teams clearly got wise to the fact that Odegaard and Saka were basically our main, and sometimes only, goal threat. That’s why this Odegaard criticism irks me. He’s being carefully jockeyed by the opposition which means that Xhaka can break the lines in the left centre of the field and open up space for Martinelli too. And so often we see Jesus over on the left too as that’s where the space is thanks to… Read more »

Nate

Johnny nailed it. As soon as the opposition sets up to guard the left side, we’re coming with the Saka/Odegaard right hook.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Teams are still double teaming Saka every time he gets the ball wide. This naturally creates space on the left. Saka is fine, still one of the most creative players in the side.

A Different George

In the two matches so far, I think Odegaard has played quite well in the first (*very* well in the first half) and very well throughout the second. He’s just not as central to every goal-scoring threat we create, which as Johnny says is a good thing. It’s not “drifting out of the game” or “disappearing” if you regularly make dozens of one-touch passes to switch the point of attack away from you when you are well-marked. The same (or comparable, given their different roles) has been true of Saka.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Exactly that! I’m loving it that we’re looking so dangerous and Saka has been quiet (but not shit), compared to his usual standards.
When he’s back on it, I feel sorry for a few clubs up against us

Boy Bastin

I’m sure that retaining his services remains a top priority for the club though. To loose a talent that has “come through the ranks” would be a blow to the “project” that Arteta and Edu are working on. Other clubs have been reported as showing interest in Saka. One potentially tricky point may be the lack (so far, anyway) of CL football – something which a number of potential suitors can offer him, and on a regular basis. Anyway, let’s hope that a satisfactory extension can be achieved quickly – the last thing we need are protracted negotiations of the… Read more »

Qwaliteee

I don’t know why you’re getting so many downvotes (well, I do – and it has nothing to do with your intelligence and everything to do with theirs). Champions League Football is an absolute must for next season. As much as we can all see what is happening with the club and the trajectory that it’s on, the proof now needs to be in the pudding. Hopefully, Arteta and the team can work their magic and the pen will hit the paper before the end of the season. But if not, we HAVE to make top four to keep Saka.… Read more »

Boy Bastin

Thanks for the post. I must admit to being a little surprised at the reaction to my comment. Saka himself has indicated that playing in the CL is an aim of his which is hardly surprising for a talented young player. I think he’ll sign an extension because, as you say, he can see the trajectory that the club is on now, but that has to be translated into (regular) CL football soon. Unfortunately, repeating the mantra that Saka “loves the club” etc. doesn’t mean he’ll stay at Arsenal season after season regardless of how things go on the pitch.… Read more »

Scwibble

I think you’re wrong about this, I don’t get the impression the team has a star player dynamic and these suggestions that Saka’s performances have dropped are strange to me. We’ve scored 6 goals in 2 games, and Saka has played well in both of them. Fans are behaving weird on this subject in my opinion.

Steinn

I think it’s just a welcome change that these wins have been down to the team’s performances rather than Saka producing moments of magic.

Steinn

Agreed, there was a time when Saka was almost carrying the team on his own but now he’s one of a fantastic attacking quartet. Is he the best of the four? Possibly. Is he in another league to Gabriel X2 and Ödegaard? Not a chance

LEFT08

Excellent, excellent news. Just hoping there are no silly release clauses in it.

Scwibble

Saka definitely loves this club. Him and ESR are the identity of Arsenal, I remember Bergkamp and Henry with both of them last year at the stadium and how Henry spoke on AON about them.

I’d love if we could build them two statues outside the stadium when they retire with us. It’s hard to imagine Saka being 30yo, I don’t think he’ll ever outgrow his baby-face lol

Boy Bastin

I’m sure he’ll sign an extension. However, as a young player he’ll want to win the big trophies – PL and CL – so I don’t think we can take anything for granted in the longer term until we start doing that. If not, the lure of continuously successful clubs (and we all know who they are) is bound to get stronger so our success on the pitch is almost certainly going to be a key factor at some time. That’s not to say Arsenal won’t or can’t do it of course, but that we have to start – or… Read more »

gooner

I know this will sound crazy because it’s coming at the time when it’s Saka and to some it would anyway but I hope we reach a stage where players commit long term and we get to plan or move on from anyone stalling the negotiations into the final two years. We all love Saka and hope for one happy outcome but you never know with these things. We saw Chamberlain ditch us out of the blue having spent years massively underperforming as the right side forward in the team. We’ve seen the other scenario where Ozil, and later Auba… Read more »

Emi Rates

Oxlade-Chamberlain makes me laugh. We were committing to him and he turned us down for bigger and better or so he thought. Liverpool paid us very decent money for him and then look how it turned out. He’s played very little part in their success. How old is he now, 30? Liverpool won’t be extending so I guess it’s so called lesser PL clubs or Europe or worse, Turkey. Maybe the US?

So much promise and so little of it fulfilled.

Scwibble

Tbf he contributed a bit, it’s his injuries that have let him down more than anything.

Emi Rates

I agree. It’s the injuries, which were also a feature during his time with us, that’s blighted his career.

Zadok the Regular Priest

This does seem a little excessive in its negativity, but I can 100% empathise given we’ve been burnt before so I won’t blame you. If you want to feel a little better about the situation, I don’t think the club was anywhere near as well-run when Oxlade-Chamberlain left as it is now, nor do I think OC ever felt as much a part of Arsenal as Saka does. There seems to be a real sense of coherent change to our strategy regarding these players – the fact that Arteta is coming out ahead of time with such positivity regarding Saka’s… Read more »

gooner

Just to be clear with you on Saka in particular, I wouldn’t sell him at all. I’d keep trying to negotiate even after he has signed somewhere else as a free agent I’d keep trying. But that’s just him because I like him that much but also because I have zero knowledge as a football executive.

My worry is how easily we let guys run them to the final year.

Emi Rates

We all love Saka but if he turned out to be one of those Ox types who wants to go to some glory club then let’s make sure get proper money from the sale.

lonsdale

It’s crazy to think that the versatility that the Ox had hindered his development in the end, playing on the RW/LW/CM/RWB. Whereas it was one of the key reasons in Saka initially establishing himself in the team, playing fantastically at LB, before he nailed down that spot on the right of the attack. Given how exciting he was when he first joined, and the clear talent he had, it’s a shame he never managed to fulfill that promise at Arsenal (nor at Liverpool). Saying that, I think Saka benefitted from two key things. One, he was able to get that… Read more »

Zadok the Regular Priest

It’s funny, for a guy who seemed so relaxed in front of a camera I don’t think Oxlade-Chamberlain ever really sorted out the psychological side of his game. To me it always seemed like he was too self-aware or something, too self-deprecating. One of the reasons he was so good in front of a camera is because he was so quick and clever, he had “good banter”, he was witty – and a foundation of that wit is in his ability to see the absurdity in things and deconstruct them to make them seem silly and funny. Except if you’re… Read more »

Man Manny

Arsenal is filling out nicely. The quality is increasing with every window. Suddenly, Saka, at 20, is one of the good players as it should be in a big team – like Foden in City – rather than the star of the team.
It is important to hold him down, but his camp are nursing other ideas, his price should get us a good replacement.
Just thinking aloud.

Man Manny

*if his camp…

Wolsty

Hopefully with the new additions this season and in previous seasons, Saka should see that we’re building something special and being a lifelong Gooner wants to be part of it. He’s only young so why would he want to go anywhere else at this stage in his career….?

Bukayo sign da t’ing…

PGunner

Great to hear, be a huge relief when signed! Gooner through and through 🙂

Modha

I want this to happen more than anything else. More than any other signing. I believe he sees where the club is going and surely he wants to be part of it.

Drew

He ain’t going anywhere!

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