Noel Whelan believes Arsenal and Bukayo Saka might have to discuss his future at the end of this season if they cannot make the top four.
Saka has emerged as one of their most important players now and he is also one of the most valuable English performers in Europe.
He has developed from a shy academy debutant to playing for England in the final of the Euros.
To be constantly in the conversation as one of the best players in the world, you need to play in the Champions League and Saka will want that.
The Gunners are working hard to achieve a top-four finish at the end of this season and he would be delighted to play for them in the elite club competition if they earn a spot.
However, if they fail in that pursuit, he might be tempted to leave, according to former Leeds United man, Whelan. He tells Football Insider:
“If they don’t get in the Champions League then there’s a threat there that they may lose a player of that quality. Everybody wants to play in the Champions League. They want to be playing at the top level in the top competitions.
“They want to be challenging up there for Premier League titles. I think the Champions League will be the only stumbling block for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal.
“Come the end of the season, if they’ve not made the Champions League, I’m sure there’ll be discussions.
“There will be a hefty price. They’re not suddenly going to let him go for absolutely nothing just because they’re not in the Champions League.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Saka has become one of our key players, and he should ideally want to remain at the club.
However, he might have his personal ambitions and that should also involve playing against the best players on the continent in the Champions League.
Hopefully, we can make the top four at the end of this season. If we don’t, we could ask him to give us one more season to achieve that.