Former England star names Premier League side Bukayo Saka should join as Arsenal exit mooted

Bukayo Saka enters the pitch in the second half v Orlando City at Exploria Stadium in a Friendly Match

Former England goalkeeper David James has tipped Bukayo Saka to join Manchester City if he leaves Arsenal in the next couple of years.

Saka is one of Arsenal’s most important players, having featured in all of their matches so far this season. He has managed one goal and four assists in that time, too.

The winger is also picking up game time with the England national team. He started in the 1-0 defeat to Italy on Friday and came off the bench in the 3-3 draw with Germany last night.

Gareth Southgate is struggling to get the best out of Saka, however. He started the Arsenal attacker at left wing-back against Italy, even though he normally operates on the right flank and further up the pitch at club level.

This resulted in an underwhelming performance from Saka, who was replaced by Jack Grealish in the 71st minute. The 21-year-old was then dropped for the clash with Germany.

However, he showed what he can do when coming off the bench with 66 minutes gone. Saka burst forward and got into a good position before playing in Mason Mount, who swept the ball into the net to make it 2-2.

This demonstrated exactly what Saka is capable of when he is given licence to go forward more often.

The star’s Arsenal contract runs out in 2024 and this is leading to rumours of a move away from the Emirates. Manchester City and Liverpool have been named as potential suitors.

Arsenal technical director Edu is planning to hand Saka an extension to keep City and Liverpool off the 21-year-old. He will get a handsome pay rise as part of this new deal, too.

But Saka’s extension is yet to go through and while this is the case, there is the small possibility that he could join one of Arsenal’s Prem rivals.

David James tells Bukayo Saka to consider City move

James, who made 100 appearances for City between 2004 and 2006, has given his verdict on Saka’s future. He thinks the wide man would be ‘a wonderful addition’ for Pep Guardiola’s side.

“I do like what Mikel Arteta is doing at Arsenal and Bukayo Saka is a big part of that,” James said (via football.london). “I can, however, understand why players want to move.

“Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been at a club for a while, and even when things change, you still feel that you need a change yourself.

“If there’s a chance of Saka moving to Manchester City, then he’d be joining the best team in England over recent years. Arsenal are currently the best team in England as we speak, purely from their league position. But more than likely Manchester City are going to challenge them for that position.

“The question is, would Saka be given enough game time at Manchester City? It’s almost guaranteed rotation when you’re fit because that’s what Pep Guardiola does. Anyone who goes to Manchester City knows they’re not going there to play every game…

Saka would be ‘a wonderful addition’ for the Citizens

“I believe he’d be a wonderful addition for Manchester City. I’ve got a lot of Arsenal friends, so I believe he should move to Manchester City.”

While it would be fantastic to see Saka play under Guardiola, the move is unlikely to happen. Saka has a strong bond with Arsenal after coming through their academy and breaking into their senior team.

Another factor to consider, which James rightly brings up, is how much Saka would play at City. They already have very good attacking options, including Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez.

Grealish has struggled to cope since swapping Aston Villa for City. The same could happen if Saka went to the Etihad.

Meanwhile, a pundit thinks Arsenal should take steps to replace Thomas Partey as soon as the transfer window reopens.