Gilberto Silva urges Arsenal to seal Bukayo Saka and William Saliba contract extensions
Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva believes it is vital that the club agrees new contracts with Bukayo Saka and William Saliba after years of having to sell their best players.
The Gunners have enjoyed a brilliant season and are set to finish second in the Premier League table behind Manchester City.
Arsenal have achieved that feat with one of the youngest squads in the top-flight and they are now working to tie down the core of their team.
Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli have all signed new deals and Gilberto has called for Saka and Saliba to be next.
The Brazilian, who won two League titles during his six seasons at Arsenal, believes it is crucial that happens as history has shown the damage that can be done if such quality players are allowed to leave the Emirates Stadium.
“It’s really important because they have taken so long to build up such a young and talented squad, and they cannot afford to lose any of them because it takes time to build this up,” Gilberto told Standard Sport.
“Now, they have a very good team, a very young team that can play for many years together at Arsenal. Therefore, around them, they need to make sure they bring in some other talents and they don’t lose many players.
“I think in the past when I was there, Arsenal suffered a lot during their process of transition when we moved to the Emirates because a lot of the best players were sold. A lot of the Invincibles left the club and some of the younger players who stepped up also left the club.
“The likes of [Cesc] Fabregas, [Robin] van Persie, [Alexander] Hleb, [Samir] Nasri, they all left the club and it made the lives of Arsene [Wenger] and the people at the club so difficult.
Arsenal cannot afford to lose any of their young and talented squad
“But I am sure they have learnt from this time because keeping players is going to be very important for the future of the club.”
Arsenal led the way at the top of the Premier League for much of this season and at the start of April were eight points clear of City. They have since surrendered that lead and City will win the title on Saturday if Arsenal lose at Nottingham Forest.
Gilberto believes Arsenal’s young squad can learn from coming so close and use the lessons from their near-miss going forward.
“It’s been amazing and I hope they keep what they have experienced this year for the coming seasons to keep improving and for the connection between the players and the fans to be happy,” said Gilberto, who was speaking on behalf of Best Online Casino Site.
“I want the players to be proud of everything they have done this season already and keep improving their performance. It’s not an easy task to maintain these competitive levels and uphold this mentality of trying to win every single week at such a high level.
“But once you are at Arsenal, you need to understand there is no way of thinking back - you have to keep thinking forward and strive for higher levels.
“You need to do things right, you need to try to give your best to win games, to win trophies - but also to play for the fans and make them happy.”