As Arsenal announced four deals on Wednesday morning, fans were left to wait until that evening to hear the news they really wanted – Bukayo Saka is on the verge of signing a new deal with the club.
With just one year left on his current Arsenal deal, concerns had been growing rapidly that the club could lose one of the best young talents in the game. Then came Mikel Arteta’s comments which allowed the entire fanbase to exhale a massive sigh of relief in unison.
“I am very positive that everything is going to be done with Bukayo very shortly,” Mikel Arteta told reporters. “The communications between the club, agents and the family has been going on for months and is very fluent.
“The player and family knows how much trust I have in him. He is just showing that every week and his consistency level is getting better and better.
“I’m so excited with the young players that we have. They just need the right environment around them to explode and Bukayo is doing that, even in difficult circumstances, which is even more merit for him.”
The 18-year-old has been one of few standouts for Arsenal this season and although his 20 Premier League appearances have yet to yield a goal (he has four assists), anyone with eyes knows that is reflective of nothing whatsoever.
Whatever the ‘it’ is that a player needs to make it at the top level, it is clear to all who watch him that Saka has it in abundance.
In total, Saka has two goals and 10 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions. Not bad going for the Academy graduate who only made his debut for the Arsenal first team in November, 2018, in a Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava when he replaced Aaron Ramsey for the last 22 minutes of the match.
While signing superstars is always exciting, there is nothing quite like watching a youngster come up through the ranks, starting at Hale End, going on to make it with the first team.
The news that we won’t have to watch him walk away anytime soon should start the day with a smile for most Arsenal fans.
Whether they end it with one after the Gunners play their third away game in a row since the Premier League returned is another matter entirely.