Bukayo Saka was magnificent for Arsenal during the 2021/2022 campaign as the youngster played a major part in Arsenal’s push for Champions League qualification. His importance to the team was epitomised by the fact that he was awarded with the player of the season award.
There had been speculation surrounding his future as he is yet to sign a new deal. But Arsenal must make securing his future a priority over the summer, as his impact highlighted how important he is to the team.
While it was initially believed that Kylian Mbappe could have been a major factor on Arsenal securing Saka’s long-term future, Real Madrid’s reported U-turn on signing the forward could potentially spell bad news for the Gunners.
There have been questions surrounding Saka’s future at the Emirates Stadium, in particular recently as his contract situation is beginning to reach a precarious stage. He currently has a little under two years remaining on his current deal and is approaching the stage where a renewal must happen.
According to 90min, Real Madrid and Manchester City are among the sides monitoring Saka, which Arsenal and the player are aware of, but there’s growing confidence that fresh terms will be signed off before the new year.
Despite Real Madrid’s reported interest in Saka, Los Blancos had always viewed Mbappe as their main target which was proven in their strong pursuit for the Frenchman towards the end of last season. Mbappe ended speculation about a move to long-term admirers Real Madrid by signing a new deal with the French capital club in May, agreeing to terms until the end of the 2024/25 season.
According to L’Equipe, however, that three-year deal is in actuality a two-year contract with an extra optional year – one that can only be triggered with the consent of the player. That means that Mbappe could leave on a free a year sooner than previously reported, which gives Real Madrid the opportunity to explore a deal. With Saka and Mbappe operating in the same area of the pitch, acquiring both players may not be worth the financial package required for a double signing.
But, this no longer seems to be the case as according to Spanish newspaper El Debate, Real Madrid have decided to take a transfer U-turn, as La Liga side no longer intend to go back in for the Frenchman. Florentino Perez reportedly feels betrayed and deceived by what happened in the previous summer window.
Towards the end of last season, Saka was viewed as one of the club’s most valuable assets and football.london understood that the Gunners had made extending the current contract of the youngster a key priority ahead of the summer transfer window. The 20-year-old is currently valued at £84million, according to CIES Football Observatory.
Arsenal are said to be pushing hard to tie Saka down to a new long-term contract. The report from 90min goes on to claim that Edu believes the deal is on the right track, and despite Real Madrid’s interest, the Gunners are hopeful that he will have put pen to paper by January.
Saka is in the top five for appearances made for Arsenal before turning 20, meaning he is above Arsenal legends such as David Rocastle and Liam Brady. He has been used more than any other player by Mikel Arteta since he took charge of the team in 2019, highlighting why it is pivotal that the Gunners tie Saka to a new contract. Real Madrid’s decision not to go for Mbappe certainly switches the spotlight to Saka, but the Gunners must ensure they tie the Englishman down.