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Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka has been tipped to depart the Emirates if boss Mikel Arteta cannot catapult the Gunners towards the top of the table. With the top three of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City seemingly away and clear, the north London side are in the hunt to secure fourth spot in the Premier League.
After a resurgence in form followed Arteta’s torrid start to the season, Arsenal are struggling once again as a poor run of results has stunted their momentum.
A last-gasp defeat at Goodison Park on Monday saw the Gunners spurn the opportunity to go fifth in the table, and the nature of Demarai Gray’s stoppage-time winner may cause heads to drop.
All told, that was the third defeat in their last four Premier League games, with Liverpool and Manchester United also emerging victorious over the past few weeks.
Saka has been one of the first names on the team sheet this season, and as an established Premier League star, other clubs are sure to show interest if Arteta cannot place Arsenal where they need to be.
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Former England international centre-back Matthew Upson, who spent six years with Arsenal, believes that his former side could eventually be at risk of losing the winger to a top side.
“I think we’re talking about a player who is early on in establishing himself at Arsenal,” he told Stadium Astro.
“Saka is a little bit away from panicking about whether Arsenal are going to lose him or not.
“But I do think he’s hugely attractive for a big club that is in a better position to win the Premier League than Arsenal right now.
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“If they come to get him, it wouldn’t surprise me at all because I think he’s a fantastic player.
“Arsenal have to do everything they can to keep improving him, and to make him feel like Arsenal is a club going in the right direction.”
Thus far, Arteta has hinted at finding a winning recipe with his talented and expensively assembled side, but rough patches of form continue to creep in and scupper their progress.
With Kieran Tierney and Nuno Tavares nailing down spots at left-back, Saka has been deployed further forward this season, keeping the likes of £72million Nicolas Pepe out of the team.
However, the 20-year-old will undoubtedly be keen to boost his output, given he has only notched two goals and two assists in 15 appearances this term.
The youngster has already nurtured a reputation for his energy and intensity, as well as his superb crossing ability.
Although cashing in on Saka may not be high up on the list of boardroom priorities in north London, selling some of their stars may become a necessity if they are keen to wade back out into the market and spend.
After a £150million summer blowout, the biggest spend anywhere in Europe, Arteta and co. may have to turn towards the likes of Pepe, who has reportedly been deemed dispensable, to finance future deals.
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