Premier League • England

Arsenal set December decision date for midfielder’s future as Fabrizio Romano reveals current Arteta stance

Arsenal stars Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe

Arsenal will decide what to do with Emile Smith Rowe one month before the next transfer window opens, Fabrizio Romano has revealed.

Smith Rowe is the bearer of the Arsenal no.10 shirt, but he failed to start a Premier League match last season and the same is unfolding so far this term. Due to his fading role, there were rumours he could have left the club in the summer.

London rivals like Chelsea and West Ham were linked with the Arsenal academy graduate. However, he remains under contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2026.

If he continues to be overlooked by Mikel Arteta for starting opportunities, it will be interesting to see what kind of speculation follows for Smith Rowe ahead of the January transfer window.

For the time being, though, no decision has been made about how to respond to any further interest that arises in Smith Rowe, according to Romano.

The journalist told Caught Offside: “Interest was always there for Emile Smith Rowe this summer as he’s a talent but there was never any negotiation, despite Chelsea links.

“At the moment he is not playing much but it’s too early to say what this means for his future.

“For January, we have to see what they decide in December as now the message is very clear: Arteta is happy with current squad and wants to focus on the next months with these players. No panic.”

Smith Rowe waiting for more Arteta faith

Mikel Arteta has given Smith Rowe 86 of his 99 appearances for Arsenal, although he has plenty of other options in the attacking midfield roles.

Centrally, he can call upon captain Martin Odegaard, summer signing Kai Havertz and the improving Fabio Vieira, whom Smith Rowe himself described as ‘unbelievable’ when Arsenal signed him last summer.

Even if Smith Rowe was to try and get gametime on the wings, he would be competing with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson.

Still only 23 years old, there are many years ahead in his career, so he would have to decide whether to be loyal to Arsenal and wait for his turn, or move on elsewhere in order for his development not to stagnate.

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