With Arsenal’s coveted defender Gabriel Magalhaes having recently signed a new, long-term deal with the Gunners, the air of optimism that surrounds the North London club is almost palpable at present.
After all, the Brazilian centre back has previously been linked with Serie A clubs Juventus and AC Milan, but spoke of his love for the Gunners as he put pen to paper on a brand-new deal.
However, there remain question marks about whether such statements are made in the expectation of impending success, with the Gunners top of the Premier League and boasting a 100% record in their Europa League group.
So, do Arsenal need to start winning trophies if they’re to hang on to their increasingly sought-after stars, or will players like Gabriel remain patient in their pursuit of major honours?
Which Arsenal Players are in Demand?
Certainly, Gabriel and William Saliba have formed an impressive partnership at the heart of the Gunners’ defence this season, with the talented Frenchman having also been identified as a long-term target for big-spending PSG.
At left-back, Kieran Tierney, who has struggled with injury this season and also fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City, also retains an army of admirers in world football.
Tierney himself has also spoken recently of his love for Celtic and the potential to return north of the border in the future, although there’s no suggestion that this will happen anytime soon.
While Gabriel has recently signed a contract extension with the Gunners, negotiations continue regarding the future of precocious winger Bukayo Saka. The brilliant 21-year-old has been the subject of ongoing transfer talks for months, with the Arsenal hierarchy hoping that an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks (and before the World Cup).
However, there remains a tangible risk that talks may break down, with Saka having multiple suitors in the Premier League and across Europe.
Can the Gunners Hang onto Their Stars?
For those of you with promo codes for Linebet, you may be interested to know that the Gunners’ EPL winners’ odds have shortened to just 5/1 in recent weeks.
Similarly, they remain favourites to win the Europa League, narrowly ahead of domestic rivals Manchester United at a price of 4/1.
Certainly, winning one or both of these trophies will help Arsenal to retain their growing stable of stars, particularly players like Saka who have the potential to go and play for any football team in the world.
However, should Arsenal fail to win any silverware this year (including both domestic cups), it may become harder for Mikael Arteta to keep his talented young squad intact, especially as expectation continues to grow and players begin to experience increased demand.
This could prove to be a real test of Arteta’s managerial credentials, as the Spaniard must drive continual improvement in his squad and manage his resources in a way that effectively prioritises all competitions.
Much will depend on Arsenal’s ability to sustain a quest for honours deep into the season, as failure can ultimately be forgiven so long as the Gunners remain competitive well into the business end of the campaign.