Arsenal make new effort to keep player who has already posted farewell message

Mikel Arteta is attempting to keep Reuell Walters at Arsenal (Image: Getty)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could retain the services of Reuell Walters next season despite the young full-back bidding farewell to fans on social media last month. Walters’ contract is approaching expiry but the Gunners have revealed that talks are underway over an extension.

The 19-year-old has never made an appearance for Arsenal’s senior side and spent the majority of last season playing in Premier League 2. A former member of the Tottenham academy, Walters moved across north London in 2020 and has spent the past four years on a path towards Arteta’s first team.

It looked as though he may never get there when, last month, he said goodbye to supporters with the end of the campaign approaching.

“Thank you to everyone that’s made this part of my career special,” he wrote on X. “It’s been a pleasure playing for this club and I wish you all the best for the future.”

However, in a strange twist on Monday, Arsenal published the names of all 19 players they plan to let go when their contracts expire on June 30, and Walters was not on it. The club’s statement added that ‘discussions are ongoing’ with the teenager, as well as fellow youngsters Amario Cozier-Duberry and Karl Hein, over new deals.

The likes of Tyreece John-Jules, Omari Benjamin and James Hillson weren’t so fortunate as they prepare for free agency and a summer spent trying to find themselves a new club.

Reuell Walters is yet to appear for Arsenal’s senior team (Image: Getty)

Also included on the list are senior stars Cedric Soares and Mohamed Elneny. The pair had been used sparingly by Arteta in 2023/24 and will soon make way as the Gunners look to bring in new additions this summer.

Their forward line is set to be revamped with new competition for Kai Havertz and Gabriel Jesus. RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko has been heavily linked in recent weeks and the striker is reportedly keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Midfield recruits will also be a high priority for Arteta, with Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi a long-term target. The Gunners are still reeling from missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City for a second consecutive year.

While cashing in on the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe should give them funds to snap up new talent, retaining prospects like Walters could leave Arsenal in an even healthier position in years to come.