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Are Arsenal in a Position to Hold onto Saka, Or Should They Sell to Improve the Squad?

We’re breaking down Saka’s position in Arsenal and what the consequences of trading him out could be.

Arsenal is currently licking its wounds from an embarrassing defeat on Monday, made worse by the fact that the game should have been a slam dunk, to mix metaphors. The game was supposed to be an easy one point to get them amongst the top teams, and they missed it.

And where was their wonderkid at this point? Perhaps feeling a little too smug to pay attention with an accolade from the CIES Football Observatory to play well? Maybe it’s time to swap him out for someone else. But can Arsenal afford to lose him? Or would a beneficial swap be best for everyone? We’re breaking down Saka’s position in Arsenal and what the consequences of trading him out could be.

IMAGE: Unsplash

Who is Saka?

20-year-old Bukayo Saka is Arsenal’s “wonderkid”. The winger is swiftly establishing himself as one of the most exciting young players on the English field.

He made quite the entrance onto the scene throughout the 2019/2020 campaign, having made his first goal for Arsenal against Wolverhampton Wanderers within days of signing up to the north London team, and in that same year came in third for the vote for Arsenal Player of the Season. After a long stint of representing England in various youth levels, the English player finally got to represent his team in 2020, scoring four goals for the team.

Is he good?

Saka is considered one of the best players in English football right now, and that isn’t just hyperbole. The shame of the 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Monday April 4th was lessened by the fact that Saka started out this week with the CIES Football Observatory naming him the best “wonderkid” in world football.

The 20-year-old is directly responsible for Arsenal’s 5th place in the Premier League table due to Saka’s nine goals and five assists, getting them tantalisingly close to the playoffs, needing only one point over Tottenham to get there.

Should Arsenal hold onto Saka or Play Their Poker Face?

If Monday’s performance against Crystal Palace is anything to go by, Arsenal should definitely keep a hold of Saka.

The game was supposed to cement Arsenal’s place amongst the Top four teams nearing the end of the Premier League and securing their place in the Champions League. And yet, instead the team wandered off the pitch with their heads hanging, having been “thrashed” 3-0 by Crystal Palace. The team might as well have been playing poker on GGPoker UK, or watching cat videos on YouTube for all the good it did.

Tellingly, according to analysis from the BBC, the top three players of the day included Saka, without whom you could place a good bet that Arsenal would have come out worse. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta grovelled his apologies in the post-match interviews, knowing that such a wide goal, one point to get ahead of Tottenham Hotspurs, was too wide to miss, and yet, they missed.

Arteta put it down to not being off to the races from the start. If things are to keep going in this direction, it’s easy to see how keeping hold of Saka would be Arsenal’s best move. You couldn’t say Saka was a saviour in this game, but if he has one off-day, and it reflects the result badly, you can imagine how many off-days the rest of the team are having.

But off days shouldn’t be in the vocabulary of the manager, or any synonym with not being off to the races. Not when you’re playing in the Premier League. Maybe it’s time for a change in manager style. Arteta said they didn’t compete, didn’t win duels, didn’t win second balls and weren’t aggressive. Well, now you know what you need to do, coach.

13 comments to Are Arsenal in a Position to Hold onto Saka, Or Should They Sell to Improve the Squad?

  • Ukaz George

    Do Saka want to leave? Or are people speculating his move well Saka is still developing and should not ruin his career because any club he go now he will fight for himself but in Arsenal is not so because he grew up there moreover he is the first name in Arsenal squad now even if he wants to leave now he is not going to be the super star he supposed be my advice to Arteta is that he should have a master plan for he is still learning the coaching trade though he has a good plan what remains now is for him to know how he can use his players without burning them up in training he has discovered the movement of Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Odegarde but he is yet to discover Nicolas Pepe because I still believe he Pepe is very good even him Arteta believe so but he doesn’t give game time and by so doing his confident goes down as a human being many things will be going into his brain feature him even if he did not do well allow him he will understand that he is the one that did not do well just like Tavare when he came new I thought he will out played Tienery because he did well then but the last two games he played he did woefully bad but there are still tarlent in him what you need do is to council him tell what to do and what not to do he will come good we will not keep on talking the mistake you Arteta has made it done already but you learn from them that is by listening to your inner mind and not to do such mistake again as soon as the season is over you will swing into action immediately first of all by bringing back William Saliba and other new signing quality signings a stitch in time saves nice

  • CorporateMan

    If Saka forces a way out of Arsenal, he’ll end the like Oxlade-Chamberlain . Mark my words

  • Very unnecessary question. Do you throw away your best to get your better???

  • mick shelley

    I wouldn’t dream of parting with Saka but if the rumours regarding Real Madrid being keen on Tierney for 50 million are true I would bite their hand off because regrettably he is too injury prone. I love him as a player but he appears incapable of stringing more than a dozen matches together before he gets injured and spends the next dozen games on the treatment table. If Arteta is prepared to accept this he has to have a proven experienced back up ready to fill the void. As it is he is putting too much on the young inexperienced Tavares who is not yet up to speed and whose confidence seems shattered. It’s not fair on the lad and his long term promise could be jeopardised as a result of throwing him in the deep end before he has learnt to swim in the Premier League waters.

  • Nitram

    After another round of matches this is where we find ourselves and it’s not looking good.

    But, it does now very much seem as if it has become a two horse race between Arsenal and Spurs for that final 4th spot, with the loser almost certainly getting the consolation of a place in the Europa league.

    Now I know some of our regulars don’t see that as a bad thing and I can see their point, but personally I still want 4th.

    Just as a reminder this where I think the points need to be gained:

    HOME

    Against the 1st and 2nd placed teams = 0 per match
    Against the 3rd and 4th placed teams = 1 per match
    Against the rest = 3 per match

    AWAY

    Against the top 4 placed teams = 0 Per match
    Against the top 10 placed teams = 1 per match
    Against the rest = 3 per match

    As a result of that system this is how I see the run-in unfolding:

    It consists of H or A – Team and Current League position – Expected points return against them.

    ARSENAL

    H Brighton 13th = 3 pts (actual = 0 pts)
    A South’ton 12th = 3 pt
    A Chelsea 3rd = 0 pts
    H Man Utd 7th = 3 pts
    A West Ham 6th = 1 pt
    H Leeds 16th = 3 pts
    A Tottenham 4th = 0 pts
    A Newcastle 15th = 3 pts
    H Everton 17th = 3 pts

    Total = 54 pts 16 pts = 70 POINTS

    TOTTENHAM

    A A.Villa 11th = 3 pt (actual = 3 pts)
    H Brighton 13th = 3 pts
    A Brentford 14th = 3 pts
    H Leicester 10th = 3 pts
    A Liverpool 2nd = 0 pts
    H Arsenal 5th = 3 pts
    H Burnley 19th = 3 pts
    A Norwich 20th = 3 pts

    Total = 57 pts + 18 pts = 75 POINTS

    MANCHESTER UTD

    A Everton 17th = 3 pts (actual= 0 pts)
    H Norwich 20th = 3 pts
    A Liverpool 2nd = 0 pts
    A Arsenal 5th = 1 pts
    H Brentford 14th = 3pts
    A Brighton 13th = 3 pts
    H Chelsea 3rd = 1 pt
    A C.Palace 9th = 1 pts

    Total = 51 pts + 12 pts = 63 POINTS

    WEST HAM

    A Brentford 14th = 3 pts (actual = 0 pts)
    H Burnley 19th = 3 pts
    A Chelsea 3rd = 0 pts
    H Arsenal 5th = 3 pt
    A Norwich 20th = 3 pts
    H Man City 1st = 0 pts
    A Brighton 13th = 3 pts

    Total = 51 pts + 12 pts = 63 POINTS

    Note: As anyone who is bothering to read my thoughts on the run-in will of noticed I did make a mistake last time predicting 1 instead of 3 points for Spurs in their match against Leicester City (thanks to seismic for pointing that out). The result of that, allied to the actual results, has really put us up against the wall in regards to what is now required from our final matches.

    So my revised final points requirements and prediction is:

    Tottenham 75 Points
    Arsenal 70 Points
    Man Utd 63 Points
    West Ham 63 Points

    Now as I said before these are points requirements to finish in the top 4, not predictions of what I actually think will happen, and I think it’s being proved as a pretty accurate system as only one team, Spurs, are managing the required points for a top 4 finish, whilst the other 3 are dropping points for fun and guess what? Spurs now look odds on for that final Champions League spot.

    The fact of the matter is, we either start ‘over’ achieving or Spurs start dropping points, or we will miss out on the top 4.

    Our one saving grace is we still have Spurs to play, all be it away, but if we do get back on form, a win at the toilet bowl could be enough to turn things completely on their head.

    Here’s hoping.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    ManC’s second goal was more offside than ours yesterday.

  • Nitram

    This Man City Liverpool match is yet another example of the polar opposite way we are refereed compared to others.

    How on earth have Liverpool still got eleven players on the pitch. I have seen at least 2 fouls that would of seen Xhaka sent off without hesitation. One did receive a yellow but I have no doubt in my mind VAR would of got the referee to have a second look.

    And just to add, even Carragher and Neville are muttering about them being ‘fortunate’, but not of course with the indignation or outrage had it of been an Arsenal player.

    Utterly disgraceful.

  • Nitram

    According to Neville it’s been ‘fierce’, ‘Desperate’, ‘Cynical’. But not enough for a red it seems.

  • John L

    Nitram,

    I agree. Taylor would have sent off at least 2 Arsenal players if they had committed such fouls.

    For the 2 supposedly best teams in the world, I thought it a fairly poor performance. Undoubtedly fast-paced and exciting, but fairly scrappy with possession being repeatedly lost by both teams and a large number of hopeful long balls.

    Neither keeper was called into action very often, with defences mostly on top.

  • John L

    I also see reports that Neville has expressed doubts about the loss of life in Qatar stadia construction.

    His source? The Qatar government!

  • Nitram

    Neville makes me sick. He is a complete hypocrite.

    He hasn’t stopped banging on about how disgraceful the proposed ‘Super League’ was. How it was all about money. How it disrespected the fans.

    Talk about protecting your own self interest.

    He currently rides the SKY gravy train, which has been inflated by the injection of oil money from the most questionable of sources. Funny how he seems ok with that?

    Funny how he has no sympathy for fans when SKY move games around all over the place, often to their financial detriment and personal inconvenience.

    We had 3 of them sat in the commentary box talking crap. We had 3 of them sat in the studio talking crap. All of them with their noses deep in the SKY trough which is chock full of Russian and Middle Eastern money.

    Why cant he just take the money and shut the f*** up ?

    Sorry but I just cant stand being preached to by a greedy, morally vacuous, 2 faced hypocrite. I have enough of that listening to the UK Government.

  • John L

    Nitram,

    Don’t hold back. Say what you really think!

    Again, I agree totally with you. I am also concerned that some people are delusional enough to see Mr. Neville as a future Labour MP or successor to Andy Burnham.

  • Nitram

    John L

    I think that’s a ‘typo’ mate.

    Surely it should read: Some people see him as a future ‘ Labourer’ ?

    I mean, he seems the perfect fit given how he digs himself a hole, then just keeps digging !!

    Barrett Homes would snap him up in a flash.

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