Theo Walcott has claimed that it is ‘such a hard thing’ to turn down Manchester City, but he believes that Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka should do just that.
The 20 year-old has enjoyed an amazing three years in the first-team in north London, earning the Arsenal Player of the Season award in just his second year with the senior side, and is in the running for PFA Young Player of the Year for his most recent campaign also.
His consistency since breaking into the first-team is almost impossible to overlook, and while there was reported interest in his signature last summer, he is now reported to be of interest to Manchester City ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
Former Gunner Walcott is keen to see him continue at Arsenal for a number of reasons, not only because the club is better off with him in the side, but because he will enjoy much less football should he make the move to the Etihad also.
“Well, there is obviously a transitional stage at Arsenal, that Mikel is part of, and Saka is massively part of it as well,” Walcott told talkSPORT.
“The younger crop of players at Arsenal coming through, I feel as though the club need to keep hold of him, simple as that.
“Obviously, when Manchester City coming knocking on the door, it is such a hard thing for any player really to turn down.
“He is very young, but I feel that he likes the area of London in Arsenal, the fans have been fantastic, and at the Emirates, which is one of the best stadiums I have ever played in.
“He has great support, and I will be intrigued. My heart says he will be at Arsenal next season, and we will see after that.
“He needs to understand that the playing opportunities will be limited at Manchester City. He will, of course, be more likely to win things, but it is not saying Arsenal won’t win things.
“I think they are in that phase, they are slowly starting to get there. They would have taken fifth at the start of the season, given how it went.
“I am hopeful he will be at Arsenal next season, I am pretty sure of that.”
While I agree that he has to stay, I’m not completely convinced that he would be ‘limited’ to few minutes in the first-team at Man City. In reality, he has played a little too much football this season, due to his importance in our side, and that has left him jaded at times and playing through it. At City he may not have such a weight on his shoulders, but he appears to thrive at Arsenal where he is loved, and now would certainly not seem the right time to be looking elsewhere personally.
Do you think Saka could be tempted by a move away this summer?
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