Arsenal star Bukayo Saka could be a target for Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, according to former Manchester United footballer Garth Crooks. The BBC pundit feels he could be on the radar of Europe's super clubs following his heroics for the Gunners in the last two seasons.

Mikel Arteta has put his trust in youth this season, and it is paying off at the moment with the Gunners fighting for a top four spot with the youngest line up in the Premier League. Saka has been at the forefront alongside the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli.

The 20-year-old wide forward has established himself as a key member of the first-team since his breakthrough as a teenager. Saka has seven goals and four assists in 23 games in the Premier League this season, making him one of the standout young players in the English top flight.

The England international's impact for Arsenal has alerted a number of clubs with Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester City pondering moves for the Gunners star. Crooks feels Saka's form could see him attract interest from European giants outside England, with Barcelona and Real reopening the doors for English players to make the move abroad.

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka scored Arsenal's winner against Brentford Ian KINGTON/AFP

While Barcelona and Real will be attractive prospects for Saka if they come calling, Crooks feels like the Spanish giants will not be able to afford to sign the prodigious winger at the moment. Barcelona in particular, are not as financially flush as their English counterparts after suffering a major hit during the peak of the ongoing global pandemic.

"Arsenal seem to be finding themselves under Mikel Arteta, by investing in youth with a hint of experience. One of Arsenal's most influential players, and one of the youngest, is Bukayo Saka. I don't think there is any more I can say about this player that I haven't already said," Crooks wrote in his weekly column for the BBC.

"We are, however, coming into a period in the modern game when English players are starting to look attractive to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid again. Although in the current climate I doubt whether they can afford the likes of Saka, which is fortunate for Arsenal," Crooks added.

Arsenal keen to tie Saka down to a new deal before the end of the season. There are fears that the young Englishman could defer from signing a new deal if they fail to land a Champions League spot next season.

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta is searching for answers at Arsenal Jon Super/POOL