Premier League • England

Arsenal await Aston Villa, Newcastle approaches for midfielder who could be sacrificed in summer

Leandro Trossard and Emile Smith Rowe

Emile Smith Rowe (r) could be approaching the end of his Arsenal career

Arsenal have been made aware of interest from Aston Villa and Newcastle United for midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who faces an uncertain future going into the summer transfer window, a report has claimed.

Smith Rowe stuck with Arsenal in January despite having some suitors willing to offer him another opportunity elsewhere. The academy graduate decided to be faithful that he might get more gametime in the second half of the season.

But Arsenal are still wondering about the playmaker’s future and he could be a candidate to be sold in the next transfer window, Football Insider has revealed.

The website claims Aston Villa and Newcastle are both interested in Smith Rowe. Either suitor could make an approach if they gain encouragement that Arsenal will make him available.

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And since everything Arsenal make from selling Smith Rowe would be profit, there is a decent chance that will be up for sale.

It was West Ham who wanted him in January, but now the battle could be between Aston Villa and Newcastle.

A move to Aston Villa would reunite Smith Rowe with Unai Emery, the coach who originally gave him his Arsenal debut.

The bulk of Smith Rowe’s Arsenal appearances have instead come under Mikel Arteta, who has unfortunately struggled to find a way to get the attacking midfielder in his team on a regular basis over the past couple of seasons.

Time might be right for Smith Rowe transfer

At 23 years of age, Smith Rowe might need to leave Arsenal for a club where he will be able to continue his development with more regular gametime.

Both Aston Villa and Newcastle are in and around European territory, so while joining them would be a step down from Arsenal on current form, it wouldn’t be by an excessive amount.

Smith Rowe’s stance for the summer remains to be seen, but his club seem willing to cash in on him if he fails to force his way back into their regular plans.

The bearer of Arsenal’s no.10 shirt, hopes were high for Smith Rowe when he progressed through their academy and into the first team.

He even earned his first few caps for England, but a series of injuries have halted his development in more recent times, when the calibre of players around him in the Arsenal squad also happens to have improved.

Against Burnley on Sunday, for context, Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard started as attacking midfielders for Arsenal, with Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka comprising their front three.

Smith Rowe was eventually brought on as their last sub for Havertz within the last 10 minutes of the game.

It enabled him to take his appearance tally to 15 for the season and 111 for the club overall, but there might not be too many more to add.

Arsenal still have Smith Rowe under contract until 2026, so it is up to them what transfer fee to set for him in the summer, but his chances of having a long-term impact at the Emirates Stadium appear to be diminishing.

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