Emile Smith Rowe was a breakout star for Arsenal last season. And his performances on the pitch have caught the eye of potential suitors.
According to the Telegraph, Aston Villa are interested in the Croydon-born playmaker.
Emile Smith Rowe, the revelation
Indeed, Smith Rowe has been a revelation for the Gunners since making his first Premier League start against Chelsea on Boxing Day. Since that fixture, Arsenal won the second-most points in the division from that point to the end of the season.
Whilst it is likely the Hale End academy graduate will sign a new deal with Arsenal, Villa’s interest in the midfielder should serve as a stark warning for the Gunners that they need to tie Smith Rowe to a long-term contract sooner rather than later.
Aston Villa’s spending could worry Arsenal
Villa have proven since their promotion to the Premier League to be an ambitious side when it comes to signings.
Dean Smith’s side have spent well over £200m on new signings since 2019, and this summer they have been linked with Emi Buendia as per the Atheltic, a player Arsenal are also in the race for.
The Birmingham-based club have also done business with Arsenal in recent years. Villa’s starting keeper, Emi Martinez, was signed from the Gunners just under 12 months ago. Since then, the Argentine has flourished into one of the best shot-stoppers in the division.
Arsenal must offer Smith Rowe a new deal soon
Smith Rowe, though, is in a different situation entirely. Although Martinez has on countless occasions spoke at length for his love for Arsenal, the Gunners no. 32 is a bonafide supporter who has been with the club for most of his life.
The youngster also has next-to-no competition for his position in the squad, with Martin Odegaard unlikely to return to north London following the recent appointment of Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
The 20-year-old is one of the most talented and promising players at the north London club. And although Villa would have to fork out a huge fee for the winger, the Gunners should be getting into gear to offer the youngster a new deal in the coming weeks.