On Tuesday, it was reported that Premier League champions Man City were stepping up their interest in Saka after Arsenal’s failure to secure Champions League football.
Mikel Arteta’s side looked on course for a top-four finish for much of the season but endured a poor end to the campaign to slip behind north London rivals Tottenham.
Manchester City are long-term admirers of 20-year-old forward Saka and have reportedly expressed interest in signing him despite the imminent arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
Liverpool, too, have been linked with a move for Saka as Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his attacking options ahead of the departure of Sadio Mane and potential exit of Mohamed Salah.
But former Arsenal star Walcott believes Saka should stay at the Emirates and continue to be a key part of the ‘transitional’ period under Arteta.
‘Well, there is obviously a transitional stage at Arsenal, that Mikel is part of, and Saka is massively part of it as well,’ Walcott told talkSPORT.
‘The younger crop of players at Arsenal coming through, I feel as though the club need to keep hold of him, simple as that.
‘Obviously, when Manchester City coming knocking on the door, it is such a hard thing for any player really to turn down.
‘He is very young, but I feel that he likes the area of London in Arsenal, the fans have been fantastic, and at the Emirates, which is one of the best stadiums I have ever played in.
‘He has great support, and I will be intrigued. My heart says he will be at Arsenal next season, and we will see after that.
‘He needs to understand that the playing opportunities will be limited at Manchester City. He will, of course, be more likely to win things, but it is not saying Arsenal won’t win things.
‘I think they are in that phase, they are slowly starting to get there. They would have taken fifth at the start of the season, given how it went.
‘I am hopeful he will be at Arsenal next season, I am pretty sure of that.’
Rangers legend Ally McCoist has also urged Saka to resist the temptation to leave Arsenal, warning the youngster he is unlikely get regular minutes under Pep Guardiola at City.
‘You would think he would be guaranteed to play at Arsenal every week, where as, he would be going from a big fish in small pond to a small fish in a big pond if he went to City,’ McCoist said.
‘The rotation system they have every week, he would not always be playing, at Arsenal he is one of the big chiefs.
‘He would have more chance of winning tings at City, but that is not to say Arsenal won’t win anything, it is certainly not the case. The offer would turn most young boys heads, of course it would.’
Saka has scored 23 goals in 131 appearances for Arsenal and four goals in 15 caps for England. He was nominated for the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year Award last month.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.