Arsenal are reportedly in talks with 3 first-team superstars, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba over contract renewals.
The Gunners have had a dream start to their Premier League campaign this season. Despite the loss against Manchester United, the club sits at the top of the table, thanks to their five consecutive wins at the start of the campaign.
After a successful transfer window this summer, the club now wants to focus on extending the contracts of their key players, that is, wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, and defender William Saliba.
After a busy transfer window that saw Arsenal sign five players, including Manchester City duo Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, fans’ hopes were very high for the current season.
Mikel Arteta’s team did not disappoint, cruising through their first five league fixtures.
This has been one of the best starts for the club, especially compared to their last season, when they lost their first three games and had zero goals to their name.
Arsenal board now wishes to reward the young stars of the team, whose exceptional performances have inspired this result.
According to the transfer expert Fabrizio Romano (via CaughtOffside), the North London club have prioritised extending the contract of Saka, along with Martinelli and Saliba. Their deals with Arsenal expire in 2024.
In his latest column of CaughtOffside, he talks about the developments regarding their new contracts. He also explains the reasons behind Arteta’s optimistic view regarding Saka’s extension.
The Italian journalist said:
“Talks have been ongoing between Arsenal and Bukayo Saka since February.
“He’s happy at the club and loves Arsenal, this is why Arteta is optimistic.
“For Arsenal it is a priority, we will see the timing in the coming months.
“Martinelli is another player on the list for contract extension, and Saliba too – nothing completed yet.”
Bukayo Saka is Arsenal out and out, having been at the club since 2008.
His progress through the youth teams to become a key player in the first team under Arteta inspires a lot of young Gunners at the academy.
His performances speak for themselves, with the winger becoming an important figure at the English national team as well at just 21 years of age. He has played 18 times for the Three Lions and has four goals to his name.
This season, he has six league appearances, scoring one goal and two assists. He was the top-scorer for Arsenal last season in the Premier League, with 11 goals and 7 more assists (stats via transfermarkt).
His gameplay has attracted the interest of some of the top European clubs. According to 90min (via The Sun), Manchester City and Real Madrid plan to table their bids next summer for the young talented winger.
However, Arsenal’s camp is calm as Saka has always been clear about his intention to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium.
If Saka has cemented his place on the right wing, Gabriel Martinelli has made the left flank his own. His performances have improved rapidly in the past year, forcing Arteta to make him a regular in his playing eleven.
In six Premier League games this season, the Brazilian has six starts and has already found the net three times. Last season, he scored a total of six goals in 29 league matches.
After his initial struggles with frequent injuries, the 21-year-old began to showcase his talent. Owing to his performances at the start of the year with Arsenal, he went on to make his debut for the Selecao in the World Cup qualifiers.
Even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could not help but praise him after his outstanding performance against the Merseyside club. Klopp had already mentioned the former Ituano attacker as the ‘talent of the century’ back in November 2019.
After the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final in January, the German manager said:
“Martinelli by the way, everybody should remember that name because he’s an outstanding player.”
Arsenal want to fend off interest from AC Milan in their young forward and are prepared to offer him a huge pay rise.
One player that the fans had wished to see play for the Gunners since the last few years is defender William Saliba.
After spending three years away on loan at various French clubs, the centre-back is now back starting for Arsenal and has looked solid in defence.
The Frenchman had a successful loan spell at Olympique Marseille last season, with more than 50 appearances for the Ligue 1 club. He has benefited immensely from this experience and has now become a regular in the Arsenal eleven.
The Londoners began contract extension talks with the 21-year-old back in July itself. Initially, he wanted to remain at Marseille for at least one more season.
However, with the guarantee of being a regular starter under Arteta, the defender is now fully committed to playing for the North London club.
To adjust him in the team, Arteta has even altered the position of last season’s big money buy, defender Ben White. The former Brighton & Hove Albion player, who is primarily a centre-back, is now playing at right-back.
Arsenal chief Edu is confident to strike a deal with all three players. He has been in talks with them as well as their representatives for a while now.
The Brazilian believes that the discussion is headed in the right direction and hopes to secure the future of the three young guns before the advent of the winter transfer window in January.
Arsenal fans will hope and pray that this situation surrounding their contracts is resolved soon. All three players are currently playing like world-class talents and have rejuvenated the team by playing at their best level so far under Mikel Arteta.