Arsenal legend Ian Wright has named Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba as the future of the club. The Gunners are flying high atop the Premier League, and the trio has been in sensational form.
Saka, 21, Martinelli, 21, and Saliba, 21, have been key for Mikel Arteta’s side this season and were involved in the side’s crucial 1-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday (February 25). Martinelli scored the winner in the 46th minute to continue the Gunners’ push for their first Premier League title since 2004. They hold a two-point lead over Manchester City and also have a game in hand.
Wright told Premier League Productions that the trio are the future of Arsenal and that getting contract extensions sorted for all three is vital. He said of Martinelli:
“We know what he is capable of. Another one that has signed a new deal and we are happy to have him here. He is the future for us.”
The former Gunners striker added:
“Him, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba are the future for us.You want them in situations and games like this so they can get more experience because we are going to need them in the future.”
Martinelli has scored nine goals and contributed three assists in 32 games across competitions as he enjoys his best season at the Emirates, as has Saka, who has emerged as Arsenal’s protagonist. The English winger has scored ten goals and provided eight assists in 32 games. The forward has reportedly agreed terms on a new contract, ending City’s interest in his services.
Meanwhile, Saliba returned to the Gunners from Marseille after spending his second spell on loan at a French club. He was named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year last season. The Frenchman has followed that campaign with a stellar first season in Arteta’s first team. He has featured 28 times, scoring two goals, providing one assist, and helping the side keep ten clean sheets.
Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard on handing Oleksandr Zinchenko captain’s armband in Leicester win
Arsenal announced that Alexander Zinchenko would replace Martin Odegaard as captain for the Premier League game against Leicester. It was ‘as a mark of respect and love on the first anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine.’
Odegaard was behind the idea of Zinchenko taking the captaincy for the victory at the King Power. He said (via the Daily Mail):
“I spoke to some people in the club, and then I went to Mikel (Arteta) and suggested it for him. It was a nice thing to do to show him the support. It’s been a year now, too long; it’s a very difficult situation and very emotional. It was a good thing to do to show our support.”
Zinchenko joined the Gunners from Manchester City last summer for £32 million. The Ukrainian left-back has shown his leadership qualities throughout the season during a difficult time in his home country.