Mikel Arteta has revealed that selling Emile Smith Rowe to Aston Villa in the summer was a non-starter, with the Gunners unwilling to entertain offers.

Despite Villa identifing 21 year old Smith Rowe, 21 as a transfer priority in the summer transfer window, they were refused both of two separate offers for the young English star, who has been at Arsenal since the age of 10.

Despite raising their offer to £30million, they were unsuccessful. Could it be because they had just beaten the Gunners to the £38m purchase of Emiliano Buendia? It seems unlikely after Arteta revealed Arsenal’s intentions. However, Smith Rowe was seen as filling the gap left by the sale of Jack Grealish.

Despite the transfer speculation, Smith Rowe committed his future to Arsenal, signing a bumper five-year contract and, in the process, scoring the coveted No.10 shirt, a sought after shirt previously worn by Oil, van Persie, and Bergkamp.

The new contract has spurred the young star on, starting all but one of Arsenal’s eight Premier League matches this season, during which, he has already accumulated one goal and one assist, and hoping for more tonight against Villa.

Regarding the Aston Villa transfer rumours, Arteta revealed:

‘Any club has the right to make an inquiry about a player and if they believe they have the financial power to get him, they are entitled to make a bid…There was communication between clubs regarding Emile and we made it really clear he was not for sale…I was never worried he could leave because he is a big part of our future and what we’re trying to do as a club…He is really happy where he is and I’m delighted to have him in my team.’

Surprising Honesty From Villa

Whilst most would not like to comment about a player that still belongs to another club,Smith was candid about Villa’s pursuit of Smith Rowe when questioned during his prematch interview. He said:

‘He’s a good footballer! I think everyone can see that…He decided to stay at Arsenal. Arsenal’s a big football club in its own right…He’s a good player and we want good players at this football club.’

Arsenal’s Fortunes Turn Around

Now enjoying an unbeaten run stretching for six matches Arsenal have gone from rock bottom to 12th in the Premier League before tonight’s match

However, it has not all been plain sailing, following poor draws against Brighton and Palace. The Gunners will hope to take the confidence of their unbeaten run, and build upon it to score a victory tonight.

On the other hand, Aston Villa will hope to turn around negative results, from successive losses to Tottenham and Wolves, with a win at the Emirates taking them above the Gunners.

Author: Londonlad

Leave a Reply