Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to build his team around Bukayo Saka and other youngsters in the club.
The 18-year-old winger signed a new long-term contract with the London club on Wednesday, despite reported interest from United and Liverpool.
Saka has been impressive for Arsenal in a poor season scoring three goals and providing nine assists.
And Ferdinand insists the Gunners need players like Saka, who care about the club, to move in the right direction.
“I think Arsenal need people with the right attitude, right characters and people that want to be at the club,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“Looking at his statement [Saka], he buys into the philosophy, and he wants to move forward with the club.
“I would build the club around him, around players like [Joe] Willock.
“The badge means something to these boys. They need to move forward together.”
Saka, who has made 33 appearances in all competitions this season, expressed his delight at signing fresh terms.
“London is my home. Arsenal my team. I’m so happy to finally announce my contract extension.
“I love playing for this club and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.
“The hard work continues so I can continue living my dream. God is Great!!”
Wednesday’s 4-0 over Norwich saw Arsenal moved up to seventh place in the Premier League table.
Arteta is adamant keeping Saka shows Arsenal are moving forward as a club.
Arteta said: “It’s been a really good week after two difficult away games where we lost [to Man City and Brighton]. But this is football, we have to react.
“The group reacted, the team is alive and they’re showing that every time.
“The decision from the club to convince Bukayo to stay here with us says a lot about the direction we want to take moving forward.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.