Arsenal will risk making a huge mistake by sanctioning a transfer for Emile Smith Rowe amid interest from Chelsea, going by Jamie Carragher’s past praise for the midfielder.
The Gunners are set for a frantic finish to the summer market on Friday night. Mikel Arteta is putting the last pieces into place in the hopes of Arsenal challenging for silverware this term. But he must also decide if Smith Rowe has a future at Emirates Stadium as Chelsea now lurk.
That is according to Simon Phillips, who claims that Smith Rowe is ‘one to keep an eye on’ as Chelsea target last-gasp transfers. The Blues appreciate what the 23-year-old can add over at Stamford Bridge. Although their interest is not that advanced as the deadline approaches.
Chelsea show interest in Smith Rowe’s transfer from Arsenal
Chelsea are still weighing up starting talks with Arsenal and Smith Rowe’s representatives to discuss his transfer. The west London outfit admire the three-cap England international and believe he can improve Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Chelsea have also suffered some injuries.
Carney Chukwuemeka started this season as a prominent part of Pochettino’s plans. But the 19-year-old suffered a knee injury at West Ham United that needed surgery. Enzo Fernandez started in the more advanced role against Luton Town that Smith Rowe can possibly occupy.
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Arteta has only awarded Smith Rowe a seat on Arsenal’s bench through their opening three Premier League games. He also only introduced the midfield maestro in the 87th minute of the Community Shield at Wembley. While the England talent seldom featured last term, too.
A host of injury problems limited Smith Rowe’s availability through the first half of the term. But he remained fit and available for each of the Gunners’ top-flight matches from February 18. Yet Arteta only used the Hale End graduate seven times over 16 fixtures for 114 minutes.
Smith Rowe further showed he has put his injury issues in the past after helping England win the Under-21 Euros this summer. He played in all six of their ties and struck two goals and an assist. The Arsenal product penned two assists in 12 Premier League games during 2022/23.
What has Carragher said about Smith Rowe?
Arteta relished what Smith Rowe offered Arsenal during the 2021/22 season, though, to also justify Chelsea’s interest in his transfer. The Croydon-born star scored 10 goals and assisted two over 33 Premier League games. He also started 21 matches for a total of 1,920 minutes.
Smith Rowe penned the second of his double-digit haul against Aston Villa after opening his account against Tottenham Hotspur. It sparked a run of three goals in as many games for the midfielder. Offering one assist against Spurs and then the Villans also captivated Carragher.
Carragher said on Sky Sports after Arsenal beat Aston Villa 3-1 in October 2021, via quotes by football.london: “I mentioned his lack of goals at this moment and that’s the only thing he needs in his game. He’s been outstanding again, certainly [in] that first half.
“When he gets on his bike, you’re not catching him. He’s as quick with the ball as he is without it. He gets a little bit of fortune, no doubt, [with] that deflection off [Tyrone] Mings.
“He’s fantastic when he runs with the ball, he’s never out of control and he gets that little bit of luck we all need at times. Just wrong-foots the goalkeeper. His fourth Premier League goal and if he adds that to his game, we have got a star.
“He’s as good as anyone in the league when he’s running with the ball. He can use both feet, he never looks like he’s out of control and the pace at which he can actually run with the ball at his feet.”