Kevin Campbell slams Arsenal board over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka contract sagas

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka
Aubameyang and Saka have been two of Arsenal’s standout players this season (Picture: Getty)

Kevin Campbell has taken aim at the Arsenal board for failing to renew the contracts of stars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka, who have just over a year left on their current deals at the Emirates Stadium.

Having scored 17 Premier League goals this season, Gabon international Aubameyang has been the subject of interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona, whist 18-year-old Saka is reportedly on the radar of Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal have a long history of mismanaging their top players’ contracts, with the likes of Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Aaron Ramsey all leaving for a cut-price fee or on a free transfer.

Club head of football Raul Sanllehi vowed to put an end to the practice of letting players run down their deals when he joined the club in 2018, but that clearly hasn’t come to fruition.

Campbell told ‘A player of Aubameyang’s calibre, the goalscorer that he is, golden boot winner last season and top goalscorer this season, and he’s coming up to having one year left and he’s not tied down?

‘This is a major issue in the football club, we cursed before letting the likes of [Robin] Van Persie go, [Samir] Nasri and [Emmanuel] Adebayor, who wanted to stay and we got rid of him.

‘Something isn’t right at the football club, there’s no way Aubameyang should be even remotely near a year of running his contract down.

‘This is bad for business, bad for Arsenal football club, and I just don’t know what’s going on inside, it’s sad.’

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal
It would be a big blow if Spaniard Arteta was to lose two of his stars (Picture: Getty Images )

Saka has exploded onto the scene in his debut season in the Arsenal first team, assisting eight times in all competitions from left-back.

Although a natural winger, the teenager has deputised expertly for injured first-choice full-backs Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac.

Campbell, who rose through the Gunners academy himself in the mid-80s, praised Saka for doing a stellar job of representing the youth setup.

He added: ‘Especially for Arsenal, I think it’s vital and essential for the youth academy to start developing players for the first team. You look at over the years the amount of young players that have come through that have saved the club fortunes.

‘Saka, he came in virtually under the radar, and you look at the position he plays on the left side, [he has] done well in the league, done well in Europe, had to cover at left-back and done very well at that. He’s definitely one for the here and now, and the future.’

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal
Saka has more assists than any other Premier League teenager this season (Picture: Getty Images)

With several clubs keeping an eye on Saka’s delicate contract situation, former Arsenal striker Campbell urged Arsenal executives to secure the promising winger’s future as soon as possible.

He continued: ‘I just think it was going to be a case of them negotiating at the end of the season, and then tying him down to a nice long-term contract.

‘I can’t see Arsenal letting him go, he’s young, he’s a gifted player and if you let these young gifted players out the building then you’ve got nothing really.

‘I think it will get done, it’s just a case of when. I would like to see them move and get it done now, why wait until the summer?’

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