Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal side approaches the upcoming international break sitting atop the Premier League perch and able to go into the extended pause in league play as leaders of the pack should they travel to Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday and take away three points as a sign of improvement over last season.
One of the key reasons behind the club’s rise in the early doors of the 2022-23 season on the back of progression last term is due in part to the many young players under Arteta’s command and guidance who have shown immense maturity amidst their development on and off the pitch.
Three of those players - Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and William Saliba - have been at the tip of the spear this term in Saliba’s case, while Saka and Martinelli have already established themselves as key figures in the Arsenal dressing room under their young Spanish headmaster.
As such, Arteta and club technical director Edu are keen to secure all three players to fresh long-term contracts at the Emirates as soon as possible as reported by 90min’s Graeme Bailey.
With all three players out of contract after the 2023-24 season, it is imperative that the north London giants come to an agreement as soon as possible given the interest that is sure to come knocking at the door the closer they come to the final year of their contract.
That situation is already evident and glaring when it comes to Hale End product and England starlet Saka, who is already on the radar screens at both Manchester City and Real Madrid, while Saliba too has generated interest after what was a fantastic loan spell in the south of France at Olympique de Marseille last season.
All three players are key figures in Arteta’s matchday XI this season, with Martinelli seemingly pushing ahead of Emile Smith Rowe in the left-wing birth (though ESR is still not fully fit) and Ben White being pushed into a right-back role despite the return to fitness of Takehiro Tomiyasu in order to deploy Saliba in central defense alongside Gabriel Magalhães.
Certainly, the club pushing to - at the very least - secure Champions League football next season both through league placement as well as a potential Europa League win would go a long way to help Arteta and Edu keep their top young talent in the English capital.
Should all three players sign on, as reportedly expected, the future remains bright for one of England’s most historic and influential clubs.