Arsenal Transfer News: Fan favourite Emile Smith Rowe makes decision Mikel Arteta will hate

Tom Weber
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, 2023/24

Emile Smith Rowe is keen to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place, according to a report.

The Gunners academy graduate is a local boy and a fan favourite, but that hasn’t helped him win back his place in Mikel Arteta’s side. Since being sidelined with a long-term injury last term, the 23-year-old has barely featured under the Spaniard.

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There was already interest in the former England starlet in the summer and again in January, with Aston Villa and West Ham both reportedly keen. FootballTransfers, however, exclusively revealed in the winter that the midfielder was keen to fight for his place, being unwilling to depart Arsenal in the midst of a title challenge.

READ MORE: Arsenal legend Wright ‘worried’ about star as summer transfer looms

In recent weeks, with an improvement in Smith Rowe’s fortunes not having materialised, fresh links with the Hammers appeared and logic would suggest that the Gunners outcast would jump at the chance to finally depart the Emirates. However, it seems that this isn’t the case.

Smith Rowe wants to stay

At least that’s according to journalist Ben Jacobs, who claims that the message coming from Smith Rowe’s camp is still the same: he wants to stay. “I don’t think the writing’s on the wall because not much has changed since a lot of links in January and even last summer,” Jacobs told GIVEMESPORT.

“We know that Aston Villa looked and some say that West Ham are monitoring the situation as well. But every time there’s been interest in Smith Rowe, even when he’s been out and not playing, it’s always been clear from the player camp that he wants to stay and fight for his place. Therefore, I don’t think anything is predetermined at this point in terms of a summer exit.”

READ MORE: Arteta confirms decision to sell TWO high-profile stars

Smith Rowe has only played 357 minutes of football this season. Due to being out of the team for so long, his stocks have tanked, with his Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) falling to just €12.7 million after a summer 2022 peak of €39.8m.

While fans will likely rejoice at the news of the local boy wanting to stay, head coach Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu may have a different reaction. Arsenal plan to spend big in the summer and selling Smith Rowe would have represented valuable ‘pure profit,’ meaning that the Gunners would not have had to worry about Financial Fair Play.

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