Why Benjamin Sesko rejected Arsenal

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 11 Jun 2024 11:27 BST
  • 10 min read
Benjamin Sesko, Arsenal
© IMAGO

Benjamin Sesko has decided to stay at RB Leipzig.

The Slovenia international has rebuffed approaches from Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd to continue in Germany for at least another season. The 21-year-old had been one of the most in-demand commodities in Europe prior to his decision.

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Fitted with a €65 million release clause and following a red-hot end to the Bundesliga season, Sesko was on the wishlist of many European giants. His decision to reject a move to the Premier League has come as a surprise to many, but it just makes sense.

READ MORE: The strikers Arsenal could still sign this summer after Sesko & Zirkzee snubs

On the face of it, there is little for Sesko to gain this summer from joining clubs like Chelsea and Man Utd. Neither will be in the Champions League next term, unlike RB Leipzig.

However, the situation is a bit more complex when it comes to Arsenal.

Benjamin Sesko
© IMAGO - Benjamin Sesko

Why Sesko rejected Arsenal

At Arsenal, Sesko would have Champions League football and he would feature in a team battling for the Premier League title. While Leipzig are ambitious and want to make a charge for the Bundesliga summit next season, too, it is doubtful whether they will be able to achieve this.

But there is a bit more to it than just that. Sesko is only 21 and he knows full well that he is not yet an elite-level striker. Though there are shades of Erling Haaland about Sesko, who boasts frightening pace despite being a towering centre-forward, the Slovenian is yet to score quite at the same rate in the Bundesliga as the Norwegian did.

Sesko is arguably more comfortable on the ball than Haaland, but his performances in the Champions League showed that he is not yet the finished product. At Leipzig, he will have a better chance to take another step in his development than he would by sitting on the bench at Arsenal, where he would not be a guaranteed starter.

Sesko had to fight for his place at Leipzig. He wasn't a starter early on in the season, with star striker Lois Openda the undisputed top dog in Leipzig's frontline. In the second half of the season, Sesko made himself indispensable.

-+ Benjamin Sesko

READ MORE: Arsenal make last desperate bid for ‘Dutch Zlatan’

Now, he is heading into his sophomore campaign as a guaranteed starter and Leipzig have promised him that he will be a key player, according to Fabrizio Romano.

At this stage of his career, it is not about money for Sesko. He rejected two incredibly lucrative Saudi offers because he wants to continue to hone his skills. At Leipzig, he will be in the best possible environment and, as part of penning a new deal, he will also receive a nice pay rise.

At this point next year, rather than talking about Benjamin Sesko the €65m striker, we will likely be talking about Benjamin Sesko the €100m+ striker.

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