Saka to Liverpool?

Make him an offer he can't refuse
Make him an offer he can’t refuse.
If the headline shocked you, it’s because it’s intended to.

We know that the champions-elect are sniffing around our talented young attacker/wingback and they’re not the only ones. If our club doesn’t get its act together we could lose him before his Arsenal career has barely started.

Bukayo Saka has a year left on his Arsenal contract and I would love to be able to sit here and say: “It’s OK, the Arsenal would never let such a highly valued player just walk out the door.”

But we all know that’s not true. To have earned precisely nothing from the departures of Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck last summer is evidence of serious failure at the highest levels of the club.

So how can we be confident that we won’t make the same mistake with Saka? Or that we won’t be forced to sell him at the end of this season?

After all, if he has his head turned by a club that’s currently more successful than we are he can just refuse to sign a contract extension. In those circumstances – and given what happened with Ramsey in particular – it seems inconceivable that the club would not decide that the lesser of two evils is to sell him and take the money rather than wait and let him leave for nothing.

We can only hope that behind the scenes the club is doing all it can to sign him up to a long contract extension. He has shown enough in his outings this season to demonstrate that he can play, score goals and make assists at the highest level.

We have a few things in our favour. Firstly, the fact that Saka has come all the way through the Arsenal youth system, so our club is the only one he has ever known. It has been his home, his school, his family, his place of work and the place where he gets to hang with his mates.

Secondly, he has emerged into the Arsenal first team alongside a group of young players with whom he has already been sharing the ups and downs of football life for many years. We should not underestimate the power of the friendship bonds formed between young men like Saka, Nelson, Willock, Smith-Rowe, Nketieh and Martinelli. You can imagine them wanting to go on to win the big prizes with one another.

Finally, we have the presence (in both senses of the word) of our new head coach, Mikel Arteta. If Emery were still in charge at Arsenal I could well see our best young players being tempted away by the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City. With Arteta at the helm there is a sense of direction and optimism that has been (mostly) lacking for a number of years.

But those three reasons to persuade Saka to stay will not be enough unless the club does its bit in making the young man an acceptable offer. 

Ever since the stadium move we have had a bad habit of blowing deals with penny pinching. 

Take our pursuit of Luis Suarez some years ago when he was at Liverpool. Our inept management team believed he had a £40m buy-out clause so we offered that number plus a pound for a player who was arguably the best striker in the world at the time. The bid, unsurprisingly, was seen in the Liverpool boardroom as a case of us trying to extract the urine; they dug in their heels and we never got Suarez. I’m fairly sure that if we had gone in with a £45m offer we would have got our man and the recent history of Arsenal might have been very different.

I’m not saying we should give Saka a stupidly high number for his new contract (the club has to consider the impact of any raise he gets on the other promising young players who will soon be knocking on the door asking for comparable increases).

But there has to be a concerted effort to make him an attractive offer and to wrap it up in a lovely big bundle of affection and commitment. We should be saying that we see Saka as a future Arsenal legend in the mould of Henry, Pires, Wright and Ljungberg.

If the club lets Saka go, it will be a dereliction of duty that will seriously dent our faith in the management team’s ability to take us back where we belong: competing for the Premier League and the Champions League.

A year later the same issue will be coming up with Guendouzi and Nketieh, so we should be considering extending them even as early as this summer to avoid any cliff edge negotiations in the future.

Will Saka stay? What do you think?



61 Responses to Saka to Liverpool?

  1. Thank you Rocky for the post ………… be back later.

  2. RC78 says:

    @RL – thanks for another excellent read!

    I am hoping that management has learned from the Ramsey debacle and also with the upcoming Auba saga 🙂

    but I think there r a few factors in our favour for Saka:

    1. Arteta…supported by Ljungberg -> The Head Coach and the coach that nurtured him are really excited by his potential and Arteta has played him regularly. Will he have the same playing time in another club? Not sure, not even Liverpool.

    2. Fans -> The fans already love him and he knows it.

    3. Youth excitement -> I think that the rise of Martinelli along with his own rise and also seeing the involvement of Nketiah, Nelson and Willock may give him some confidence and also he s playing with his pals – that always helps.

    4. His love for AFC.

    While I am not convinced we will keep him for his whole career, I am quite confident that he will be with us at least until 2022. After that, I don’t know. It will depend on how successful our club is I suppose.

    So I can see him pen a new deal to 2024 already this summer with a salary increase.

    COYG! We love Saka!

  3. Le Coq Monster says:

    Saka does n`t give me the impression of someone who would grow a moustache accompanied by a curly mullet hairstyle and sneek admiring glances at his neighbours chrome Ford Cortina hub caps whilst in a room full of lonely onanists singing “You`ll never wank alone”

  4. Pete the Thirst says:

    @Rocky to parrot the Liverpool chairman: what have you been smoking? They’ve got plenty pf players in the positions Saka plays. I’d be very surprised if he’s not at Arsenal next season.

    On the Suarez shenanigans…his agent told Arsenal he had a £40M release clause. We went in a pound higher, which was a little foolish. Liverpool denied the clause was in place and we didn’t come back with an improved offer. Turns out the £40M clause was indeed there, but we didn’t push hard enough and Liverpool cut a deal with the player for another season then sold to Barcelona for £30M more.

    Another example of the amateur dealings of Gazidis & Wenger towards the end of their tenures.

  5. RC78 says:

    And I agree with extending Guendouzi…not sure about Nketiah yet.

    In the season 2022-2023, we could potentially have this starting line up and all these players (except maybe Leno) will be under 30 and I think that a large number would still be under 25 (Saliba, Douzi, Willock, Saka). If they get anough playing time until then and the right coaching (seems Arteta is doing a decent job so far), I think we may be witnessing this season the start of a medium-term team building effort.

    Leno – Bellerin, Holding, Saliba, Tierney – Douzi, Torreira – Pepe, Willock, Saka – Martinelli

    I am very curious to see what Arteta will do this summer in terms of transfer. I am certain he ll go for a Right-Back and maybe a CB, a CM, and a FW.

    Let us see…

  6. RockyLives says:

    LCM 😀

    RC and Pete… I agree with you both that Saka is highly likely to stay but I have a nagging worry all the same.

    And it’s not as if our club hasn’t managed to stand on a rake at crucial moments in past contract negotiations…

  7. RC78 says:

    By the way, Arteta clearly indicated that he sees Martinelli as a CF as well as Auba as a CF but given the lack of LF, they had to play there.

    If Ceballos rejoins Real, then I think Arteta will plunge into the market to get a CM.

    So here are a few hints in terms of summer recruitment so far:
    1. A right-back
    2. A left forward
    3. A CM (if we can’t keep Ceba)

  8. RC78 says:

    RB names being rumoured are Pereira, Meunier
    CM names being rumoured are F.Ruiz, Partey, Zakaria, Guimares (but he just signed for Lyon so I doubt it)
    LFW names being rumoured are Grealish, Jota, Saint-Maximin, Sancho (we can dream), Kostic, Mertens…

  9. Mikel A says:

    Rocky, can the club force Saka to sign? Any money we offer can be matched and improved by others so it is a delicate balancing game and this includes the fringe factors you mentioned. The power is clearly with the player. I think he will sign a new contract as per those positive factors, but only time will tell.

  10. RC78 says:

    Mikel – no chance we can force him to sign but we can clearly encourage him 🙂

  11. RC78 says:

    PSG team to face Dortmund tonight according to media:
    Navas – Kehrer, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa – Di Maria, Gueye, Paredes, Neymar – Sarabia, Cavani

    PSG team to face Dormund tonight accoding to me:
    Navas – Kehrer, Kouassi, Kimpembe, Bernat – Di Maria, Gueye, Marquinhos, Neymar – Cavani, Sarabia

  12. fred1266 says:

    5. Fred loves him

    I swear this would hurt so much hope it never happens after bellerin he is my favorite player

  13. RC78 says:

    @Sue – I think PSG will NOT quality today and it will be another heartbreak. That said, Dortmund is fun to watch so I won’t be too upset. I think the game will end as 2-2 draw. Tuchel to be sacked at the end of the season.

  14. LB says:

    I think the club are so committed to keeping Saka that they would sell Aubamayang to free up that left wing slot.

    The thing that first brought my attention to Saka was when any of the younger players of Ljungberg’s coterie where asked who was the most talented player coming through, almost all of them to a man said: Saka.

    It also explains why Emery was constantly playing him when he clearly wasn’t ready, it was known by all at board level that he had to be given what ever he required to stop that scary headline becoming a reality.

  15. RC78 says:

    @Fred – Bellerin really needs to up his game. He has been way below par lately. I really like him too but I feel like we had a star in the making a few years back and now I feel like if he does not confirm his potential this year and next, then he will be a very good player to have on the bench…

  16. RC78 says:

    LB – I also agree that Auba will be sold to give more space for Saka and Martinelli and also to get some cash injections to fund some transfers.

  17. LB says:

    OK, it is a slow day so I am going to take the bait: “Our inept management team believed yada yada”.

    This is anti Arsenal rhetoric usually spewed out by sites such as Le Grove and amazingly taken up by other sites and people who should know better.

    Look at if from a different angle.

    If there was a bidding war for Suarez Arsenal could never have won and lets not forget most clubs in Europe wanted him at the time, I hope that is agreed.

    So, the trick is to find out if Suerez wanted to come to THOF and this is key, if that could be established then Arsenal were in the negotiating driving seat. How do you do that, silly to just go gang busters with an opening offer far smarter to test the water with an offer of buy out clause plus one pound, now I thought this was negotiating genius.

    As it turned out Barcelona was his and his family’s preferred destination: who would have guessed that a native Spanish speaker would be drawn to that exciting city by the sea to play along side Messi?

    In my opinion the club and the board should hold their head high for giving it a really smart shot.

  18. trugun says:

    Agree with all that’s been said with just one reservation, Guendouzi apart from his reported problems within the club his performances of late seem to have gone right down, he is very easily bullied off the ball and seems to slow up play every time he has the ball. Maybe it’s just a phase, if so I’d like to see him snap out of it pretty darn quick…

  19. RockyLives says:

    Some good comments.

    My understanding from the time (and I accept I could be wrong) is that Suarez was prepared to come to Arsenal and that it was from his agents that we knew of the £40m release clause.

    My point is that by offering £40m plus a quid we looked like we were trying to be too clever and were taking the piss on the assumption Liverpool had no real say in the matter. If anything I think it made them determined that Suarez could go anywhere BUT Arsenal. I call that inept.

    If we had negotiated a bit more sensibly I think we would have got our man for somewhere in the region of £45m. Honour would have been served on all sides.

    Just my opinion…

  20. RockyLives says:

    I agree Gwen is a bit hit and miss at times but I think overall his energy and drive have helped us a lot.

    My own particular bugbear with him is that he plays very one-footed, which limits his options when he’s on the ball. I’d like to see him trust his left a bit more so he can switch play to the left more easily when there are no options to the right.

  21. RockyLives says:


    Where are you hiding?

    Are you on coronavirus lockdown?

  22. Pete the Thirst says:

    @LB I’ll give you an alternative view:

    You’ve got a decent job in Liverpool. The job’s great; you get on with your colleagues; but your boss is a bit of a dick and the city is just…well there’s not much to do there.

    A job comes up in London. Better money; nice colleagues again; the boss is living on past glories but will let you do what you want; and the City is great with lots to do and you can get to see your mates really easily.

    You’d love to move to Barcelona by the seaside where it’s warmer but that job isn’t available at the moment.

    The recruiter at the London job doesn’t do a great job of sorting out your severance package and lacks commitment, which concerns you. Your Liverpool company offers to up your wages with the promise of a move to the seaside next year if you perform well….Perfect.

    TBH I’m amazed that Gazidis is still in charge of Milan. I’d be amazed if he can do up his own shoelaces.

  23. Jimmy B says:

    Not sure how you can compare the likes of Ramsey and Danny to to this kid but there you go.

  24. LB says:

    Thanks for joining in the spirit of this slow Wednesday.

    The suggestion that 45 mill might have done the trick suggests that Liverpool had some sort of say in where Suerez would go. Why? Suerez was in the driving seat, it was he who was going to decide where he was going to work and not Liverpool.

    Just look at Fabregas, it wouldn’t have made any difference if Bayern had come in and doubled the offer, Fabregas was going to Barcelona no matter what even to the point that he accepted a drop in wages.

    It is very similar with Suerez, if you are from Uruguay then the idea of working in Barcelona is far more attractive than working in London.

    But I come back to what I said above, the smart thing that our board did was ask — lets just see, just in case.

    Loosing out on a player is the same as missing a penalty, it always looks bad, every fan says why didn’t you do this or why didn’t you do that, you cannot win. But not to step up and try is far worse.

  25. LB says:

    I think it is an Arsenal thing with me, I can’t stop myself, I will defend the club, the manager, the board and Gunnersaurus if need be.

    Hmmm, Gunnersaurus getting picked on by another mascot, right over the fence it is………..

  26. RC78 says:

    PSG team to face Dortmund:

    K. Navas – Kehrer, Marquinhos (cap.), Kimpembe, Bernat – Di Maria, I. Gueye, Paredes, Neymar – Cavani, Sarabia.

    Mbappe on the bench as he is sick

  27. fred1266 says:

    Psg Dortmund behind close doors

  28. fred1266 says:

    Anyone wants to see my picture with gunnersaurus such a lovely mascot

  29. fred1266 says:

    Hope cavani has on his shooting boots today he has been missing some easy chances of late

  30. Anyone fancy writing something for tomorrow?

  31. RC78 says:

    – Meunier, Verratti suspended
    – Silva injured
    – Mbappe sick
    – Bernat and Neymar out of rhythm
    – Paredes and Gueye out of sorts
    – Kehrer and Kimpembe prone to errors
    – Playing behind closed doors

    I can only count on Navas, Marquinhos, Di Maria, Sarabia, Cavani today to save us. If they perform, we have a chance but if they get nullified, we have 0 chance of qualifying.

    If I were Tuchel, I d play in a 4312 set up with Di Maria part of a midfield 3 and Neymar playing through the middle and Sarabia playing on the left of the pitch next to Cavani. We need to stop Hakimi, Can-Witsel and Sancho…


  32. fred1266 says:

    Drawing lots For premier league winner could be an interesting post

  33. LB says:

    Is should go in alphabetical order Fred.

  34. Sue says:

    Come on PSG… put a smile on RC’s face!! 👍

  35. fred1266 says:

    U real want Bournemouth to win LB

  36. fred1266 says:

    Watching the game with no fans is so boring

  37. Sue says:

    What a result, RC 👍👍👍

  38. RC78 says:

    Am so ecstatic!
    PSG through!

  39. Sue says:

    What a night in the CL!!! A lovely smash & grab at Anfield…. awesome!!!

  40. RC78 says:

    PSG players celebrate with their fans after qualifying for the 1/4 finals of the CL.

    Fans were not allowed to come inside the stadium due to Covid 19

  41. JM says:

    Liverpool got sucker-punched 2-3 by Atletico Madrid a.e.t. at Anfield.

    Next week, Chelsea has to overturn a 0-3 deficit at home against Bayern Munich. While Man. City has to defend a narrow 2-1 lead away to Real Madrid.

    All English clubs could go out by next week.

  42. JM says:

    Bukayo Saka shares the same UK-based player agency, Elite Project Group Limited, with his Arsenal teammates Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal U23’s Tobi Omole and Folarin Balogun are also with the same agency. Our previous players, Alex Iwobi (who was transferred to Everton) and Chuba Akpom (who was transferred to PAOK Salonika), are also clients of the same agency.

    It would seemed our club, specifically either Raul Sanllehí, Edu and/or Huss Fahmy, has a rather close working relationship with this player agency.

    Furthermore, this player agency manages:

    Jadon Sancho (transferred from Man. City to Borussia Dortmund)
    Ademola Lookman (transferred from Everton to RB Leipzig)
    Ola Aina (transferred from Chelsea to Torino)
    Josh Maja (transferred from Sunderland to Girondins Bordeaux)
    Todd Cantwell (currently at relegation candidate Norwich)

    I would not put it pass that should our club’s new contract package is deemed not satisfying, Saka’s agency might sound out to clubs in Germany (Bayern, Dortmund, Leipzig), Italy and France, in addition to Liverpool.

  43. Sue says:

    I was beginning to think Pool would win the CL as well as the PL (imagine that 🙄), so thanks to Diego, that’s not gonna happen!
    We’ve known for an eternity they’re gonna be champions in May (boo!), but at least they won’t be invincible and they won’t win the FA cup, I can deal with that….. 👍

  44. allezkev says:

    That’s interesting JM, the club and agents took the Nelson deal right to the wire before he signed and went on loan to Germany. I hope that Arsenal don’t string out the Saka deal as it could rebound on us.

  45. fred1266 says:

    After an all English finals in both tournament last year

  46. RC78 says:

    @Peaches and Rasp – just sent you a post…a bit of a walk down memory lane but putting it into the current context 🙂

  47. VP says:

    I’m with LB.
    and if I have to make an offer and it was based on any amount above a fixed sum, then I would also add just one more dollar…

    One more dime to show for my day
    One more dollar and I’m on my way
    When I reach those hills, boys
    I’ll never roam
    One more dollar and I’m going home

  48. RC78 says:

    Belgium closing down restaurants, cafés… Until 3rd of April. The UK will soon follow suit pbbly. Keep safe

  49. fred1266 says:

    We got our first case today, very scary now

  50. fred1266 says:

    Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus and the Arsenal squad are expected to self-isolate, the Gunners have confirmed.

  51. RC78 says:

    Not only did we lose to the Greeks, they also infected our coaching and playing team…:-(

    Caveat: Not sure it was the Greeks 😛

  52. fred1266 says:

    Well if anyone from wolves affected then we will know

  53. Sue says:

    It’ll just be like a mild flu, unless you have underlying health problems, so I’ve read. The chances of dying are minimal…it’s hard not to worry or panic though, as we all know of at least one person of a certain age and with ‘issues’….. try and keep well is all we can do and ride it out…..

  54. RockyLives says:

    Apparently the virus can live for up to three days on hard surfaces, so if one of those Greeks touched Arteta’s hair…

  55. Sue says:


  56. LB says:

    The Mexican economy is really suffering, no one in the United States is drinking Corona Beer.

  57. kelsey says:

    Good Morning
    Football has suddenly become irrelevant and more and more players will be sent home to self isolate for 14 days and then are they might be just expected to play within a day or so with no training. Just write the season off regardless of all the possibilities in the league table as no one will agree what is right to do. It might be drastic but someone has to make the decision now not just wait days or weeks as the virus multiplies.Just look at the last 24 hours and I understand that 3 of our first team squad are being tested whilst all are self isolating.

  58. fred1266 says:

    The DFL and DFB are considering ending the Bundesliga season after this weekend, according to the Express. No trophy would be awarded and no relegation would take place. Instead, the Bundesliga would be expanded to 22 teams for 2020-21 with the top four teams from the second tier

  59. fred1266 says:

    Hope we follow suit

  60. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post ….

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