Bukayo Saka is not leaving Arsenal for Liverpool. Not in a million years, says @ laythy29
It must be that time of year again.
You know, in this day and age when people start talking about player moves that are just never going to happen.
Otherwise known as the January transfer window.
The final “story” is actually a complete non-story, more tied to wishful thinking on Merseyside than any concrete evidence from anywhere, let alone the player involved.
I’m talking about the absurdity of “Bukyao Saka in Liverpool”.
It must simply be a coincidence that this complete and utter non-story has surfaced ahead of the upcoming League Cup semi-final clash between Arsenal and Liverpool. Is not it ?
And it must also surely be a coincidence that the world-class Saka are linked with Liverpool at the start of the ‘silly season’ of transfer rumors without any foundation or credibility whatsoever. Is not it ?
However, let’s get one thing clear at the start of this window: Saka, our Saka, our wonderful Saka, is not going anywhere. End of the story.
He won’t be leaving the club this month. He won’t be leaving the club at the end of this season. He will not be leaving the club during his current lucrative contract.
And if Arsenal do their job right, they won’t be leaving at any point in the next five years. Everything else you read is just plain incorrect on this point.
Here are three reasons why Saka will not leave Arsenal for Liverpol:
1) He’s one of us.
I’ve seen Saka flourish from U18s to U21s to U23s to the first team – and quite simply, Saka is a Gooner through and through. Why on earth would he leave his childhood club for somewhere else when he is loved as he is in North London?
Anyone who saw him play for the academy knew he was a special talent – even though his stellar upward trajectory over the past two years has been absolutely amazing. So why put this progress in jeopardy by moving to a club where he would probably not be a regular holder, thus hampering his progress, his momentum and his career. Which brings us to our next point.
2) Arteta is building something special at Arsenal
Many smart Gooners who know the club have compared this team’s current progress to the 1986/87 season. Which means Arteta is heading for a title tilt over the next couple of years.
If you know your history at Arsenal, you’ll know that under the astute George Graham – whose first job when he took office was to wipe out a toxic culture fueled by lazy, underachieving cliques satisfied with repeated underperformance – did exactly that.
“Gorgeous Geroge” was so successful at removing the has-been and never would be, its young and vibrant side – made up mostly of local guys who were hungry to do well for the badge, the club, each other and the fans. – won the league three years later. At Anfield of all places. If you know, you know.
So why the hell would Saka want to leave the friends and colleagues he grew up with? Why would he want to quit Arteta’s exciting project, abandoning buddies like Emile Smith Rowe and Gabi Martinelli, not to mention the core of what could be an exceptional team in the future, just for a change of scenery?
3) Where would he play in Liverpool?
It is said that Saka’s style would suit Liverpool’s style of play. Yes of course. He’s a world-class player. But if you look closely, what would be his best position at Anfield?
Saka has played in many positions for Arsenal over the years, from left-back and left midfielder to right-back and right midfielder, as Arteta sought to find his perfect position. Which, judging by his performances this season, has to be in midfield.
I covered Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and it was instructive to note that their captain and trophy-laden leader Jordan Henderson played down the right side of a three-way midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation, flanked alongside Fabinho in the middle.
Henderson is still only 31 years old and is at the peak of his power. He’s not going anywhere. So if Saka wanted to play wide on the right, he would have to dislodge the Liverpool captain and Jurgen Klopp’s right-hand man. A difficult request, even for Saka. And he certainly wouldn’t want to be sitting on his bench while he tries to do it.
Ok, so what about Liverpool’s right-back or right-back? Three words: Trent Alexander Arnold. For my money, one of the best attacking full-backs in world football. Good luck with Saka dislodging his English colleague on this one.
So what about further ahead on the right. Well that’s where my Player of the Season Mo Salah lives. So no luck there then.
What about the broad left? No one other than Sadio Mane plays in this position. And this top talent will go anywhere anytime soon, unless Saka feels like replacing him while the Senegal international is out for CAN this month.
So where would Saka fit in at Klopp’s Liverpool?
You tell me…
In the meantime, take the story for what it is: utter, utter nonsense of the January transfer window.