Arsenal have ‘no real concerns’ over the likelihood of getting a deal for a key player attracting £43m transfer links over the line, per a report.
The Gunners’ most recent victory served as a preview of what Arsenal’s future could look like. During their 3-1 destruction of Tottenham, academy pair Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe stole the show.
Each notched both a goal and assist as a youthful Arsenal side took their bitter rivals to task. It was the Premier League’s fourth youngest starting eleven this season. Numbers one, two, three and five on that list are also held by the Gunners.
And while the road may be rocky, the future certainly appears bright – if Mikel Arteta can retain his side’s core components.
One player Arsenal fans cannot fathom losing is Saka. The 20-year-old was recently revealed to be on the radar of European giants Atletico Madrid and Juventus.
The key to an Atletico approach was subsequently revealed to rest with Chelsea. Should the Blues trigger Saul Niguez’s option to buy, Atletico could turn to Saka to fill the void.
A surprisingly low sum of £43m was tipped to give Arsenal’s hierarchy a difficult decision to make. Gunners fans would argue with some justification the England international is already worth far more than that.
Nonetheless, any fears they may hold have been allayed by Football London’s Arsenal correspondent, Chris Wheatley.
Participating in a Q&A, Wheatley was asked about Saka’s contract status. The response he gave will settle the nerves.
“No real concerns from Arsenal about Saka’s situation,” said Wheatley. “The player is happy at Arsenal and I’d expect talks to be opened on a new deal soon.”
Another rising youngster who is yet to make a first-team impact is Folarin Balogun. The highly-rated hitman remains starved of opportunity at the Emirates, leading to a January love move being touted.
Wheatley insisted that while no decision has yet been made, a loan move is a distinct possibility.
“I don’t believe any decision has been made yet but there is always the possibility,” added Wheatley. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Arsenal struck with three-month injury blow
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been handed a hammer blow with midfielder Granit Xhaka facing up to three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The Switzerland international limped out of the recent 3-1 victory over bitter rivals Tottenham. And after seeing a specialist, the Gunners have been given a grim diagnosis.
“Further to injuring his right knee during Sunday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur, assessments and scans have confirmed that Granit Xhaka suffered a significant injury to his medial knee ligament,” an Arsenal statement read.
“A specialist consultation took place in London on Tuesday evening which has determined that Granit does not require surgery.
“Granit’s recovery and rehabilitation programme will start immediately. And we are aiming for him to be back in action in approximately three months.
“Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Granit to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”