Bukayo Saka may be a talented footballer and an incredible person, but Arsenal fans should probably start heaping even more praise on the youngster following a recent revelation.
Not that any of us want to particularly think about the time when Saka hangs up his boots, but Aaron Ramsdale has hinted at what job Arsenal’s starboy could take up when his playing days are over and it’s probably not what you expect. In an interview with football magazine FourFourTwo, the goalkeeper was asked how Mikel Arteta sold the club to him ahead of his transfer last year.
“It wasn’t him, to be honest – it was Bukayo,” he replied. “I heard rumours that Arsenal were interested in me when I was at the camp before the Euros, and Bukayo had mentioned that he and the boss had been talking about me.”
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Agent Saka pulling strings, how can you not love him? In all seriousness, however, Arteta could ask the youngster to take up a similar role again in the coming months. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure, in addition to Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s expiring contracts, mean Folarin Balogun could be the only remaining first-team striker at the club come the end of the season.
It leaves the Gunners in desperate need of added firepower this summer and football.london understands two forwards are on the shortlist. A host of names including Darwin Nunez, Jonathan David and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been linked with a move to the Emirates, but Saka may be able to repeat his Ramsdale trick with one player in particular.
Current Aston Villa and England striker Ollie Watkins has previously revealed that it’s his dream to play for Arsenal one day, as well as admitting he’s a fan of the club. With Football Insider reporting that the Villans will listen to offers for Watkins this summer, perhaps now is the perfect opportunity for Saka to work his magic once more.
Primarily a centre forward, Watkins can also play on either wing and has gained key Premier League experience since joining from Brentford in 2020, scoring 23 goals and providing six assists in the process. The 26-year-old received his first national team call up last year and most recently scored for the Three Lions in their clash with Ivory Coast.
His goal contribution numbers haven’t exactly set the league alight this season, but if Arteta requires at least two strikers ahead of next season, Watkins could represent a solid rotational option to have within the squad. His admiration for Arsenal along with his ties with England teammates Saka, Ramsdale, Ben White and Smith Rowe should make him a serious target for the technical director Edu this summer.
The striker is valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, but if Saka can work his magic once again and get heads turning, Watkins may leave Villa with no option but to lower the asking price.