Arsenal have confirmed that Bukayo Saka has signed a new long-term deal at the club, rebuffing interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.
Arsenal have made an official statement to confirm that Bukayo Saka has put pen to paper on a new long-term contract. The 18-year-old winger had been the subject of interest from the Gunners’ rivals Chelsea and Manchester United, who were willing to offer him lucrative contracts.
Saka joined Arsenal a decade ago as an 8-year-old before progressing through the ranks rapidly at their academy. The teenager was always highly rated in the north Londoners’ youth setup and made such an impression that he was handed his first-team debut last season, at the nascent age of 17. Since then, he has amassed 36 further appearances for Arsenal, 33 of them this term.
Signed da ting! 😉
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 1, 2020
The 18-year-old has also been the Gunners’ most creative player in the current campaign, providing 10 assists so far, the most of any Arsenal player. However, up until now, his future had been the subject of rampant speculation, as the Premier League heavyweights struggled to tie him down to a new deal. Chelsea and Manchester United’s interest emerged as this time.
Chelsea’s interest in Saka was a tad bit surprising, considering Frank Lampard has bolstered his attack considerably. The arrival of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in the summer would give him more wide options for next season, even though Pedro and Willian are set to leave as free agents.
However, if Werner and Ziyech play in their natural positions, Lampard’s wide options would run thin, which is perhaps why they were after the Arsenal youngster, who would have also become a viable option for left-back. The pursuit from Manchester United, on the other hand, can largely be attributed to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s desire to create a complete attacking unit.
Presently, Marcus Rashford is the first-choice on the left wing, with Mason Greenwood establishing himself on the right flank, although his long-term role is that of a striker. As a result, Manchester United do need to beef up Solskjaer’s options out wide, irrespective of whether they are able to sign priority target Jadon Sancho.
London is my home. Arsenal my team. I’m so happy to finally announce my contract extension😄📝 I love playing for this club and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.. The hard work continues so I can continue living my dream🙏🏿❤️ God is Great !! pic.twitter.com/nS7G5nE9Pc
— Bukayo Saka (@BukayoSaka87) July 1, 2020
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund had also been briefly linked with Saka before their interest fizzled out. Now, though, Chelsea and Manchester United have had to concede defeat in pursuit of the 18-year-old, with Arsenal tying him down to a new long-term deal.
Indeed, the Gunners had been desperate to reach an agreement with the teenager over a renewal. However, to complicate matters, Chelsea and Manchester United were ready to pay more than the £7,000-a-week wages that Arsenal were offering, as reported by The Sun.
But, all’s well that ends well for Arsenal, who now have Saka as part of Mikel Arteta’s project for the foreseeable future, although the duration of the contract remains unclear. As for Chelsea and Manchester United, they now need to identify new targets to fit their requirements.