Jamie Redknapp explains why Mikel Arteta should build his team round Bukayo Saka

Arsenal are undergoing a period of transition with Arteta at the helm, and Redknapp has tipped The Gunners boss to focus on one of the talented youngsters at his disposal.

Jamie Redknapp feels Mikel Arteta should be building his Arsenal team around promising talent Bukayo Saka.

The versatile, left-sided youngster has become a big player for The Gunners this season after breaking into the first team earlier in the campaign.

So far this season Saka has provided three goals and nine assists for his side in all competitions, with most of his appearances coming at left-back.

He has been able to play in his more comfortable advanced position on left wing since the restart, and Redknapp has urged Arteta to give Saka a more pivotal role in the team.

“I’m a big fan of Saka. He looks the real deal that young man. So exciting to watch,” Redknapp said on Sky Sports.

“He’s the sort of player you want to build your team around, not players that are in the squad and the next minute they’re not.

“He’s got so much talent, goes past people, goal threat, at 18 years of age.”

Key to Arteta first and foremost will be keeping Saka at the club beyond the end of his current contract.

Saka’s deal is set to expire at the end of next season, with the club in ongoing negotiations over an extension.

Liverpool have been reportedly showing an interest in his services, but it is thought Saka will sign a new long-term deal at The Emirates in the coming weeks.

One player who faces an uncertain future at Arsenal though is midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.

The French international has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth since Arteta’s appointment, and was dropped from the matchday squad for Thursday’s clash with Southampton.

Asked before the match why he had left Guendouzi out, Arteta replied bluntly: “Squad management.”

He was then pressed by the Sky Sports reporter as to whether Guendouzi’s actions during the weekend defeat to Brighton were part of the reason, after he had taunted opposition players about the size of their wages.

“Whatever internal issue we have we deal with it privately,” Arteta said, before adding: “The needs of the team and the needs of the football club are always the same. The men on the pitch are 100% focused to win the game.”