Peter Crouch explains why Mikel Arteta should be ‘concerned’ about Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka looks on during Arsenal's defeat to Brighton in the Premier League
Bukayo Saka’s current Arsenal deal is due to expire in 2021 (Picture: Getty)

Former England striker Peter Crouch believes Mikel Arteta should be seriously ‘concerned’ about Bukayo Saka’s contract situation and says it’s ‘surprising’ that Arsenal have so far failed to get the youngster on a new deal.

Saka, 18, regarded as one of the finest talents to emerge from Arsenal’s academy in a number of years, is set to become a free agent in 2021 and talks over an extension have so far been unsuccessful.

It’s understood the promising winger – who broke into the Gunners’ starting XI as a makeshift left-back – was on the verge of putting pen to paper but the coronavirus crisis saw discussions ground to a halt.

Arsenal FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Arteta is yet to convince Saka to sign a new contract (Picture: Getty)

Discussing Saka’s future at half-time during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Brighton, ex-Tottenham forward Crouch told BT Sport: ‘I would be concerned.

‘It’s happened time and time again at Arsenal. I’m not sure who’s in charge of contracts but it needs to be sorted out.

‘They’ve given big, big contracts to players who don’t seem to want to be there and he hasn’t sorted out someone with immense potential like Saka.

‘I think he’s been possibly Arsenal’s best player in this first half, he’s created chances, that was a tremendous bit of skill.

‘It just looks to me that there are some players that lack a bit of desire at Arsenal and you have to say he’s been the shining light and I think a club of Arsenal’s stature should be trying to tie down these young players.

‘It’s a surprising thing that they haven’t been able to do that.’

Peter Crouch working for BT Sport
Crouch says Arsenal should be ‘concerned’ about Saka’s future (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand agreed that Saka has proven himself to be a tremendous talent that Arsenal could not afford to lose.

‘I totally agree with Crouchy,’ the former United and England defender said.

‘What’s even more impressive about him is we’ve watched him numerous times – he’s played left-back, he’s played left midfield, right midfield the other day and today he played in midfield.

‘The kid’s producing anywhere he’s been asked to play. It’s great.’

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Brighton, Arteta stressed that the club were doing their utmost to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Saka on new deals.

‘We are trying, as a club, to finalise the deals that are more urgent and are a priority for us,’ the Arsenal head coach said.

‘They are both really important, not just for now but for the future of the club as well.

‘If the club has something to announce, they will do it in the right moment.’

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