Arteta hopes ‘biggest talents’ follow Martinelli in signing new Arsenal deal

Mikel Arteta hopes Gabriel Martinelli’s new contract opens the floodgates for other key Arsenal players, including Bukayo Saka and William Saliba, to commit their long-term futures to the club.

Martinelli has signed a deal until 2027, rewarding an excellent season that has brought seven goals in 19 top-flight appearances for the Premier League leaders. It is hoped that Saka and Saliba, both of whose existing terms expire in 2024, will follow suit, with the former thought to be particularly close. Aaron Ramsdale is also discussing a fresh contract and Arteta confirmed there was the collective will to tie down first-team regulars.

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“Part of the plan obviously is to extend the contracts of our biggest talents and commit them to the future,” he said when asked about Saka and Saliba. “We are trying to do that, we have started with Gabi and that’s good news. The others will be done when we can and we have to agree on that.

“I see everyone really happy and really willing to continue at the club but we have to meet expectations and timing is key on that.”

Martinelli was joined by his Brazilian compatriot Jorginho on deadline day after the midfielder signed from Chelsea for a fee that could reach £12m. Experienced cover in that position was necessitated in part by a long-term knee injury to Mohamed Elneny. Arteta had been a long time admirer of Jorginho, who had come close to joining Manchester City in 2018 during his time as assistant coach there, and moved quickly to sign the 31-year-old.

“We knew that in this market you have to adapt and be flexible and be ready for inconvenience,” Arteta said. “We had to have a plan that probably wasn’t the case before the injury happened. We have adapted and we have improved the squad.”

Jorginho could make his debut from the start in the Saturday lunchtime visit to Everton. There is uncertainty over the availability of Thomas Partey, who departed early from the FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Manchester City with a rib injury.