Morning all.

I know a transfer window can produce silly headlines but the Bukayo Saka to Liverpool story is just stupid. Admittedly, Liverpool must be an attractive proposition for many players with Jurgen Klopp as their manager and the history associated with club but unless their American owners are ready to make Arsenal an offer they couldn’t turn down, I just can’t see anyone at the club entertaining the thought of selling one of our fantastic young English players to that lot. Or to any club really. If a 28 year old Lukaku was deemed to be worth £100 million, Saka must be worth twice as much. As must Emile Smith Rowe. Both are unsaleable in my opinion, along with Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Martin Odegaard. Forgive me if I’ve missed anyone.

Arsenal are heading in the right direction, I think we’d all agree on that and right now, the players in the list above are crucial to what Mikel Arteta is building. Thomas Partey is missing but only because he’s been very hit and miss since his arrival but if he returns from the ACON in the same form as he showed against City, then he’s the experienced midfielder Arsenal need to keep hold of. Just my opinion of course.

Similar could be said about Alex Lacazette but it seems there’ll be no contract extension for him. For him it’s a chance to get a final bumper deal as there’ll be no transfer fee for another club to pay but the chances of him earning more elsewhere than he’s currently getting at Arsenal are slim I’d have thought. If the internet is correct, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey earn more than him. But, when a player is in his final year of contract, he holds all the cards and their agents will be trying to squeeze every last penny they can into a new contract for their player. In Lacazette’s case, I’ve no idea if the club aren’t prepared to offer him a new contract, or he simply wants a new challenge.

Arsenal have been bitten on the backside before after giving older players new contracts. Mesut Ozil is the one who stands out, Aubameyang is another and I’d add Granit Xhaka to that list too, who only last summer was given a contract extension. But again, it’s about having experienced players within a very young team I guess and Mikel Arteta seems to rely on him. Although I doubt he’s in Arteta’s good books after the weekend.

I think the rumours linking Arsenal to older players this month kind of makes sense but only if they’re loans or short term deals and the player still has the passion to play and win. Look at Thiago Silva at Chelsea. 37 years old and playing like a 25 year old and he’s just signed a new contract. So I kind of understand the links to the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum and Philippe Coutinho, not that either are definitely signing for Arsenal. But they’re the kind of player, if signed on a short term deal or loan, who could be the difference between us finishing 4th and perhaps 7th.

See you in the comments.