The 23-year-old is struggling mightily for game time under Mikel Arteta and has been frequently linked with an exit. Having had to deal with a long-term injury problem last term, Smith Rowe already barely played then – even after his return to full fitness – and his fortunes haven’t improved much this time around.
The attacking midfielder has played just 266 minutes of football so far this season, which has unsurprisingly given rise to speculation that he is on the exit ramp this month. Indeed, rumours were fuelled by the fact that West Ham apparently contacted the Gunners over Smith Rowe.
However, as FootballTransfers exclusively revealed, Smith Rowe wants to end the campaign with his current side and has no intention to depart the Emirates Stadium. Arsenalknocked back the Hammers’ approach because they are keen to keep him around and keep their squad together until the end of the season as they look to revitalise their title challenge.
Nevertheless, Fabrizio Romano expects more clubs to test the north London club’s resolve in the coming days.
What did Romano say?
Speaking to CaughtOffside, Romano said: “It’s a concrete possibility to see Emile Smith Rowe approached by clubs before the end of January. My feeling is that it is going to be complicated for him to leave because Arsenal are only open to a permanent transfer.
“A loan makes no sense, and also Mikel Arteta is very happy with the player and he’s happy at Arsenal. If they receive an important proposal it could be a possibility but otherwise, I see him staying at Arsenal in this transfer window.”
Smith Rowe has not played regular football since his stunning 2021/22 season when he featured in 33 Premier League outings, notching 10 goals and two assists.