Premier League • England

Arsenal star mulling over huge exit decision if Arteta treatment continues to January, as trio line up

Arsenal stars Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe and William Saliba

Arsenal stars Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe and William Saliba

Emile Smith Rowe would reportedly consider leaving Arsenal if his role stays as it is at the moment by the time the January window opens.

Smith Rowe’s breakout season for the Gunners was something to behold. As a result of some good performances, including four goals, in the 2020/21 season, he was given more regular opportunities the following campaign.

The Englishman made the most of those opportunities, firing in 10 goals and two assists in 33 Premier League games, as well as a goal in the League Cup.

The tally of 11 him the second-highest scorer at the club that season, behind only Bukayo Saka, who scored 12 times in all competitions.

The academy pair’s careers have been quite different since then. Saka smashed his numbers out the park the following season, scoring 14 goals and providing 11 assists as the Gunners finished second in the league. He’s continued to impress this season, and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the league.

While Smith Rowe could conceivably continued his rise in the same manner, he had to sit out a lot of last season due to injury, and has hardly been given any opportunities since returning to fitness.

In perhaps the most stark demonstration of his time spent on the sidelines, between his most recent start – against Brentford in the League Cup – and the last one before that, 499 days had elapsed.

However, he’s been fit all season, and has played one minute in the Premier League. He could have played the majority of the second-half of last season too, but Mikel Arteta clearly decided he wasn’t needed.

Smith Rowe considering Arsenal exit

According to 90min, Smith Rowe won’t sit idly by as Arteta picks other players ahead of him. Indeed, that report states the star ‘would consider leaving Arsenal if he’s not more involved in the first-team set up by the time the January transfer window opens’.

He reportedly harbours ambitions of making Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024, and as such is ‘desperate’ for more opportunities.

If it’s clear those aren’t going to come at the Emirates, he’ll consider upping sticks.

It’s stated ‘there’s a possibility’ Smith Rowe is allowed to leave on loan for the second half of this season before returning to Arsenal in the summer.

That suggests Arteta doesn’t want to lose him, but still isn’t ready for him to have a massive role.

Smith Rowe will have options

If he was allowed to leave Arsenal, Smith Rowe would have quite a few options. The report states Aston Villa ‘remain interested’ and both Brighton and Newcastle are ‘monitoring the situation’.

Feyenoord could be another potential destination. Indeed, the Gunners are reportedly interested in the club’s star striker, Santiago Gimenez.

Given they’re eager to sign him, they could potentially use Smith Rowe as a makeweight.

However, a permanent move seems unlikely no matter how few opportunities Smith Rowe is getting, especially as Arteta recently  stated “we all love him” when speaking about the star, and suggested he knows what to do to get back into the mix.

As such, if he was to exit in search of opportunities for the Euros – and having him play in the tournament is surely a good thing for Arsenal – it would most likely be on loan.

READ MORE: Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal suffer triple January rejection after £50m ace chooses another