Back in Blighty today and back to the usual routine, following a few days of French boozing and stocking up on the vino, and it appears all the talk is about contracts.

Saka is set to be announced soon according to Fabrizio Romano and at this stage you have to conclude they are just waiting for the optimal time in which to make the announcement of this supposed five year deal. The length of the deal is something that seems to be the latest bit of news that the journos have found out and the fact that it is a five year deal is good news all round. His last deal was a four year deal and I remember at the time thinking “yeah, so that means we’re back to sweating over his future in two season’s time and sure enough that started to happen at the end of last season/beginning of this one. But I suppose you’d just have to say that it was good for his agent because it has played out perfectly in terms of Saka being at his optimal value for his client; he’s our best player, he’s having such an impact, the fans, the club and the manager all love him, he clearly loves the club and this will no doubt recognise him financially as the jewel in the current Arsenal crown.

So everyone seems happy and now it seems like they are just waiting for the right moment. Will that happen this week? Next week? After the season has finished? I suspect they’ll wait certainly until after the Brighton game. That’s what I’d do anyway. Brighton are a bit of a bogey team for us, beat us at home last season, still have something to play for in the shape of European competition and so if they end our faint title dreams this weekend, then I’d give it until Tuesday before I released some really positive news about the future of the club. It would perk up the fans. And if Arsenal have managed to beat Brighton on Sunday, it would further boost the fans by putting another positive story out there.

Roll on the announcement.

There’s more noises in the press though, as Ramsdale is being spoken of as a guy in line for a new contract, as well as the club positioning that they are ‘confident’ over Saliba. Let’s hope not too ‘confident’ though; we don’t want that leading to an Ashley Cole style over-confidence where the player starts to look elsewhere if he doesn’t feel like the club are matching his own ambitions and demands. We’ve already seen this season just how important Saliba is to our build up play and whilst we’ve found a temporary solution in the form of Kiwior filling in at right centre-half, you can’t help but feel that if we were to lose him now just as this defence looks like it is beginning to take shape with the rotations of squad players as well as the first teamers in there, that it would be somewhat of a blow.

I suppose the good news is that the noises from Saliba appear to have been positive too. I’m also taking it as a good sign that we aren’t hearing about clubs sniffing around him. That normally happens when an agent wants to either let the club know that they will be positioning their player elsewhere unless demands are met, or it actually does mean that these clubs have been alerted to the situation and the player and his agent are open to moves. I haven’t seen tonnes of that crop up on my social media timelines, or online, so I’m hopeful that the reason for that is that it is because all parties agree that there are just details that need to be ironed out and that everyone see’s those details as minor technical bits that aren’t going to be too big a hurdle for club, player and agent to overcome.

The Ramsdale noises are interesting. He signed a five year deal the summer before last I think, which means at the end of this season he still has three years left. By all accounts it means the club could probably take their time to get that done, but perhaps it is a recognition of what some of these players have done and how far they have come in the last 18 – 24 months. These Arsenal players have taken us from a side in the doldrums of two eighth placed finishes, to competing for the Premier League title right up until the final weeks of the season. The club has to recognise that and whilst as fans we have all already spent the Champions League extra revenue on shiny new players, there does need to be an appreciation of the ones that have got you to where you are right now. So to me that means new deals for the likes of Ramsdale, Saliba, maybe even Odegaard, Saka, etc. These players – if they can establish themselves as regular Champions League playing footballers – will inevitably want (and deserve) that bump in pay and I suspect the club are mindful of that.

That’s all I have for today. Lots on at work so I’ll call it a day and catch you all tomorrow.

Have a good one peeps.