Arsenal icon names two Gunners stars they must tie down to new contracts after Saka deal sealed
Arsenal great Ray Parlour has urged Mikel Arteta to hand William Saliba and Martin Odegaard new contracts after tying down Bukayo Saka to a fresh deal on Tuesday.
The England international has become the Gunners’ top earner, with a reported weekly wage of £300,000, keeping him at the club until 2028.
This was huge news for Arsenal fans, as Saka’s previous contract was set to run out in 2024, and they could have lost him for a fraction of his true worth.
In a recent interview, Parlour praised his former club for getting the deal for the 21-year-old over the line.
“In the open market god knows what he would be worth, but every team would be queuing up around the block to sign him if they could,” he said.
‘Most teams around the would love someone like Saka in their team, who’s that good at that early age in his career, so it will be brilliant news for Arsenal when his contract extension is confirmed.
‘I do believe that he’s one of the best in the world at the moment in his position. “There’s Vinicius Jr. at Real Madrid – I know he’s on the other side but when talking about wingers, they’re both up there. So I’m very happy to have him, not just for Arsenal but for England too.”
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Parlour: Arsenal must keep Saliba and Odegaard
While Parlour is clearly pleased to see Saka commit his future to Arsenal, he now thinks that the club should switch their focus to handing new deals to Saliba and Odegaard, whose current contracts expire in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
He added: “You want the young players to stay together, that’s what it’s all about. Once you get a group of young players, they develop together.
“Gabriel Martinelli obviously signed a new contract, which is good news, it looks like Saka has and hopefully William Saliba is the next one that can sign a new contract.
“Martin Odegaard has also shown enough now to deserve a new contract, I’d certainly be negotiating, because he’s played so well. He’s been the best midfielder in the Premier League this season. What he’s done in an Arsenal shirt has been excellent.
“It’s so important for the club, once you’ve got that young core of players, that you try and develop them over the next four to five years. And they’re only going to get better.’
“That’s the beauty of having young players because they should improve together and if that happens the team will improve as well. I’m sure during the summer, if Arsenal can win the Premier League, there will be lots of players who are deservedly renewing their contracts.’
Indeed, Arsenal are in with a fantastic chance of clinching their first league title since 2004, with the London giants currently eight points clear of reigning champions Manchester City.
With that in mind, Arteta will no doubt want to keep his current crop of players together, so penning new deals for Saliba and Odegaard will surely be one of the manager’s top priorities.
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