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Arsenal and Bukayo Saka: Selling is a solution

Bukayo Saka is nearing the final year of his contract. If he is unwilling to extend his deal, selling is a solution that Arsenal must consider.

Selling high-end young players never seems like a very smart decision. And in the large part, that is because it is. However, sometimes, the situation calls for the difficult choice to be made, however foolish it might seem.

This summer, or whenever the transfer window will be, Arsenal might just be approaching this situation. 18-year-old Bukayo Saka has been a revelation for the club this season. He is one of the best crossers in the Premier League, has more assists than any player in the squad, is the leading assister of teenagers in the Premier League, and has seen his value skyrocket after phenomenal performance after phenomenal performance.

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Normally, you would want to keep these players, naturally. They are superb talents who can be the future of your team. However, sometimes the situation dictates another course of action. And Arsenal might just be approaching that disastrous outcome with Saka.

Saka is nearing the final year of his contract. Negotiations have been ongoing throughout the season, but a new agreement has not yet been assured between the two parties and there is growing interest from some of the biggest clubs around the world.

As Football.London James Benge explains in a recent Q & A, Saka could yet agree to an extension but there is a long way to go:

“As I understand it, there have been active negotiations this year over getting Saka a new deal. That is one where there has been some degree of optimism from Arsenal over him signing an extension, certainly the Gunners belief that there is a desire from Saka to prolong his stay. It is absolutely not a given though and Borussia Dortmund are among the clubs who are very keen on signing him with their interest dating back several years.”

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If Saka does reject the club’s advances, however strong they may be, and consider the developments of other players around the globe, those like Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Christian Pulisic, all of which flourished at Dortmund, one of the strongest suitors of Saka, Mikel Arteta and co. might not have a choice but to sell.

Saka’s value is sensationally high. For good reason, of course, but it would not be the worst time to cash in. The development of young players is notoriously unpredictable. Saka might not yet cut the mustard at the elite level, and if he is unwilling to sign a new contract, Arsenal would be letting him leave for nothing in a year’s time. Selling for £50-plus million now, then, is not entirely foolish.

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Of course, the priority should be to sign Saka to a new deal. He is a brilliant talent that the Gunners would be silly to let go. But if it comes to it, selling is a solution that the club should consider, if it comes to it.

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