Arsenal has just taken a $74m risk that may backfire as Liverpool knows Mohamed Salah difference

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Arsenal has just taken a $74m risk that may backfire as Liverpool knows Mohamed Salah difference

Liverpool’s interest in signing Bukayo Saka from Arsenal, back when he was a talented young left-back, feels like a distant memory now. Borussia Dortmund also expressed interest in him, which is usually an indication of promising talent.

Over the past three years, Saka has gained widespread recognition, partly due to his involvement in England’s national teams during major tournaments. As a result, he has become well-known to the general public.

Throughout this season, Bukayo Saka has played a crucial role under the management of Mikel Arteta, as Arsenal made significant progress. This week, Saka extended his commitment to the club by signing a new long-term contract that ensures his presence until 2027.

Based on information from David Ornstein, it has been reported that Bukayo Saka’s new contract with Arsenal will see him earn approximately $355,000 (£290,000) per week, making him the highest-earning player at the club. Over the course of the four-year contract, this amounts to a commitment of around $74 million (£60 million).

However, this significant salary sets a potentially risky precedent. Despite Saka’s talent and contribution, he has yet to win a trophy with Arsenal, and there is no guarantee that their current strong performance will be sustained.

The salary he is receiving is typically associated with players at clubs competing in the Champions League, while Arsenal’s consistent qualification for that tournament is not assured due to the intense competition in the Premier League.

Indeed, the significance of Bukayo Saka’s new contract extends beyond his individual earnings. While he may not surpass Mesut Özil as Arsenal’s highest-ever earner, he does hold that distinction within the current squad. This sets a new benchmark and potentially creates expectations for future signings.

For instance, if a player like Declan Rice were to join Arsenal from West Ham for a substantial fee of $100 million (£93 million/€81 million) or more, it would be reasonable for them to expect a comparable salary. A player commanding such a hefty transfer fee might argue that they deserve a wage commensurate with their valuation, such as a ‘$100 million wage’.

Ultimately, Saka’s contract could have implications for future negotiations and wage structures at Arsenal, potentially influencing the expectations of high-profile signings in terms of their own remuneration.

What about players like Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard, and others who have supported Saka in his unsuccessful attempt to challenge Manchester City? Ødegaard, in particular, might reasonably expect equal treatment.

Liverpool, after much consideration and delay, finally offered a lucrative contract to Mohamed Salah last summer. However, it’s important to note that this decision came after Salah had played a crucial role in several years of consistent success.

The Reds narrowly missed out on dominating the Premier League by a single point in just a couple of seasons, and the titles they did win in both the Premier League and the Champions League were significantly aided by a player who was widely regarded as one of the best in the world for a significant period of time.

While Saka is undoubtedly a talented player, it’s true that he has not reached the same level of performance as Salah. Salah has an impressive record of 186 goals in 304 appearances for Liverpool, including seven more goals in his first season at Anfield than Saka has scored for Arsenal so far.

However, this is not to undermine Saka’s brilliance. He is already recognized as one of the top young talents in football and has the potential for an excellent career. Arsenal’s decision to offer him a substantial contract at such an early stage has set high expectations for him.

This move by Arsenal carries a certain level of risk, unlike the approach taken by Liverpool, which has been more cautious in offering big contracts. Only time will tell whether Arsenal’s gamble pays off and Saka lives up to the high bar set for him.

Arsenal has just taken a $74m risk that may backfire as Liverpool knows Mohamed Salah difference

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