Walcott warns Saka's play time will suffer if he leaves for Man City

Theo Walcott warns Bukayo Saka that his ‘playing opportunities will be limited at Manchester City’ if he quits Arsenal to join the Premier League champions – but he admits the move ‘is such a hard thing for any player to turn down’

  • Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing Bukayo Saka this summer
  • But ex-Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has urged the club not to sell their star man
  • He believes Saka will continue to play a key role in Mikel Arteta’s long-term plan
  • Walcott thinks the 20-year-old will have more regular game-time if he stays put
  • Saka enjoyed his best league season at Arsenal scoring 11 and creating eight

Theo Walcott has urged Arsenal star player Bukayo Saka to rebuff any transfer interest from Manchester City this summer, claiming his ‘playing opportunities will be limited’ should he move to the Etihad.

The Premier League champions have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of the 20-year-old, who is in the process of negotiating a new deal with the Gunners having only two years left on his contract.

Arsenal missed out on Champions League football in the final week of the season to archrivals Tottenham, while Manchester City won their fourth Premier League trophy in five seasons.

Bukayo Saka has attracted interest from Manchester City this summer according to reports 

Former Arsenal star Theo Walcott has urged the 20-year-old to steer clear of the Etihad

Despite the disparity in silverware opportunities, Southampton forward Walcott insisted Saka must stay put in North London for the good of his career.

The 33-year-old also claimed that the youngster has become an integral aspect of Mikel Arteta’s long-term plan.

‘He needs to understand that the playing opportunities will be limited at Manchester City,’ Walcott told talkSPORT.

‘He will, of course, be more likely to win things, but it is not saying Arsenal won’t win things.

‘There is obviously a transitional stage at Arsenal, that Mikel is part of, and Saka is massively part of it as well.

The England winger scored 11 and assisted eight in a career-best Premier League campaign

‘The younger crop of players at Arsenal coming through, I feel as though the club need to keep hold of him, simple as that.

‘I think they are in that phase, they are slowly starting to get there. They would have taken fifth at the start of the season, given how it went.’

Saka enjoyed a career-best season and featured in every Premier League match for Arsenal last campaign, scoring 11 and assisting 8 during the competition.

With a professional attitude, consistent performances and frequent goal contributions, the young Gunner has fast become a fan favourite at the Emirates – something Walcott hopes will keep him there at least in the short-term.

The now Southampton forward joined Arsenal in 2006 and made over 250 caps for the club

‘He has great support, and I will be intrigued. My heart says he will be at Arsenal next season, and we will see after that,’ Walcott added.

‘Obviously, when Manchester City come knocking on the door, it is such a hard thing for any player really to turn down.

‘He is very young, but I feel that he likes the area of London in Arsenal, the fans have been fantastic, and he’s at the Emirates, which is one of the best stadiums I have ever played in.

‘I am hopeful he will be at Arsenal next season, I am pretty sure of that.’

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