Bernd Leno sends clear message to Bukayo Saka over Arsenal future

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Bernd Leno wants Bukayo Saka to stay at Arsenal ‘for a very long time’ after the teenager played a starring role in the Gunners’ 1-0 win over Olympiacos in the Europa League.

The north London club will take an away goal back to the Emirates next Thursday, with Alexandre Lacazette tucking home from close range after an inch-perfect pass from Saka.

However, Arsenal risk losing the youngster – whose contract expires in 2021 – after talks over an extension hit a stumbling block, though Leno is in no doubt that he wants Saka to stay.

Asked about the teenager after the game, Leno told BT Sport: ‘Bukayo is an outstanding player, hopefully he stays very long at Arsenal.

‘He is very important for us. I think today his cross was very good for Laca to score.

‘We’re happy now we’ve got the advantage and the away goal. At home we want to beat them again and go through to the next round.’

Manager Mikel Arteta was also asked about Saka, saying: ‘We try to put him in the right position, surrounded by the right players in the right position.

‘He’s not a full-back. He’s responded in the right way, he’s got a lot of courage. I’m very pleased with his performance.’

Although Arsenal kept a clean sheet in Greece they were indebted to the reflexes of goalkeeper Bernd Leno and the German is happy with Arteta’s decision to play him in Europe.

He added: ‘It’s my job to make saves. At the end when you have a clean sheet, I’m happy. We won this game and we have the away goal so we’re happy.

‘I want to play all the games. We take this competition seriously. It’s another chance to win a trophy and qualify for the Champions League. I want to play all the games so I’m happy he’s decided I should.’

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