Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has urged his old club to sort out new contracts for youthful star players Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka as soon as possible.
The two attacking talents have been in superb form this season, and were particularly devastating for Mikel Arteta’s side last weekend as they played a key role in earning the Gunners a 3-2 win over Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.
Parlour is concerned, however, that Arsenal have often allowed star players to come too close to the ends of their contracts, citing examples like Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri.
These big names left Arsenal in their prime, and went on to strengthen major rivals in Manchester United and Manchester City, respectively, and it’s easy to imagine the north London giants’ rivals would be looking at Martinelli and Saka as well.
Parlour hopes AFC can resolve their futures soon to avoid history repeating itself.
“We’ve seen it happen so many times at Arsenal where people have gone on free transfers,” Parlour told talkSPORT.
“Back in the day [Robin] van Persie – free transfer more or less. We had to sell him with a year left [on his contract].
“[Samir] Nasri was in the same situation. So now you’ve got to highlight who you want to keep, who’s your players going forward.
“I’m sure there’ll be so much interest for Saka. All the big big boys will come in and try to sign him.
“So now sit down with him, get him on a good contract. Martinelli’s in the same boat – they’ve got to try to nail him down as well.
“[Emile] Smith Rowe has just signed a new contract, I know he’s injured at the moment but you’ve got to try and get these youngsters to sign up and believe that in two or three years time, this club is going somewhere.”