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Buyako Saka has signed a new deal to stay at Arsenal until 2027, saying the club “is the right place to make the next step”.
The England forward has scored 14 goals for the Gunners this season, contributing 11 assists.Just 21 years old, he has already made 178 appearances for the club and has featured in all Arsenal’s Premier League games over the past two campaigns.
I’m just really happy,” said Saka.There’s been a lot of talking and it’s been a while, but I’m here now. I think this is the right club, the right place to make the next step. It’s a beautiful club – look where we are.
For me, it’s about achieving my personal ambitions – how much I push myself and demand from myself each game, week in, week out. Then I have all the right people around me in terms of family, and when I come to the training ground, my team-mates, the coaching staff.
I think I have everything I need to become the best player I can be, and that’s why I’m happy to stay here and be here for the future, because I really believe that we can achieve big things.”Listen: Arteta – the making of Mikel
Saka’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the 2023-24 season.
Second-placed Arsenal host Wolves in their final game of the season on Sunday, having missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.Next season, the Gunners will play Champions League football after a six-year absence.
I have seen a lot of change. I’ve seen this team and the club grow, and one thing that everyone around us can be excited about is that we are going in the right direction,” added Saka.”Time is on our side.
You can look at our team and a lot of the players are young. We’re hungry, and a lot of us haven’t won trophies at Arsenal so we want to achieve big things. If you watch the way we all speak, we want to win and we want to win here.”
Manager Mikel Arteta said: “It’s great for the club that Bukayo has extended his contract. Retaining our best young talents is key to our continued progress and Bukayo represents such an important part of our squad now and for the future.As well as being a fantastic talent, Bukayo is a special person – he’s loved by us all.
Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi says Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister “deserve to play in another level” amid interest from rival clubs.The Seagulls have qualified for Europe for the first time in their history but De Zerbi says he would not begrudge either player if they decide to leave.
When I work, I think for myself, I think for my club – but I think still for the players,” said De Zerbi.
The players have one career, one life and we can’t decide for them.”Brighton rejected a bid from Arsenal of around £70m for Ecuador international Caicedo in January, while World Cup-winning Argentine Mac Allister is heavily linked with a move to Liverpool this summer.
The south coast secured European football with victory over Southampton on Sunday and De Zerbi hopes it will entice the midfielders to stay.Asked if Wednesday’s final home game of the season against champions Manchester City would be the pair’s last in Brighton shirts at the Amex Stadium, De Zerbi said: “It can be the last game but I don’t know.
They can have the possibility to change [clubs] because they deserve to play in another level.I don’t know what Tony [Bloom, Brighton owner] can decide. But now we can offer them the possibility to play in Europe because our level is bigger now. We can offer them one possibility more.”
‘We have to try it’Brighton will almost certainly end the season in sixth place in the Premier League – their highestfinish in the top flight – because of their superior goal difference over seventh-placed Aston Villa.
A place in the Europa Conference League is already assured, and a point against City will mean Brighton qualify for the more prestigious Europa League, but De Zerbi says his players will be aiming for all three.
The focus is to play seriously,” said the Italian, whose team finish the season at Villa on Sunday.We want to play in the Europa League and to play in the Europa League we have to make another point. We can’t start the game to make one point. We have to think to win the game.
We have a big, big, big target – bigger than Conference League because we expect Conference League.If we have the possibility to play in a more prestigious competition, we have to try it.”Speaking earlier on Tuesday, Manchester City boss said his opposite number is “one of the most influential managers in the last 20 years