Bound to heavily affected is this summer’s transfer window, with the game’s financial landscape looking vastly different to just a few months ago.
Transfer budgets are likely to have been decimated by the shutdown and that is bad news for Arsenal ahead of Mikel Arteta’s first summer in charge, with the Spaniard looking to get his rebuild going.
The Gunners’ financial situation is further complicated by the ongoing questions over European qualification for next season, but if he looks within, Arteta may find a couple of prospects ready to step up and play a more significant role next year.
Saka’s breakthrough into the Arsenal first team has been one of the highlights in a difficult campaign for the Gunners. The 18-year-old has risen to the unenviable challenge of not only making the step into senior football but also doing so out of position, deputising more than ably for the injured pair of Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac at left-back.
Smith-Rowe’s senior career so far has been a little stop-start. He made his Arsenal debut as long ago as September 2018 and has often impressed in domestic cup and Europa League appearances without ever really threatening to break into the first team on a permanent basis.
Arteta has already shown that Eddie Nketiah is very much in his first team plans, while Tyreece John-Jules is another player who had just nailed down a starting spot – on loan at Lincoln – when the coronavirus shutdown began.
But in Balogun Arsenal have another young striker who will be hoping to get his chance in the first team at some point next season after a prolific couple of years in youth football.
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