Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe will be handed an improved new contract after recently emerging as the Gunners’ driving force.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been keen to Arsenal’s resurgence. His five starts in the last Premier League have coincided with an upturn in fortune for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Smith Rowe was thrown into the line-up against Chelsea on Boxing Day and has since started every game as Arsenal have won four and drawn one of those five games.
Smith Rowe has been Arsenal’s chief attacking threat from midfield and he has chipped in with three assists, as well as a goal in the FA Cup win over Newcastle.
The player, who has spent loan spells with Huddersfield and RB Leipzig has become integral to Arteta’s plans and he will be rewarded with a new contract.
The Daily Mail report the youngster is in line to see his £15,000-a-week wage more than doubled.
Smith Rowe, who models his game on Bruno Fernandes’, is in line for a contract equivalent to that of Bukayo Saka, who recently signed a deal on around £40,000 a week.
The report claims Arsenal may look to backload the deal, so that he receives more of the money when fans are allowed back into the stadium.
Smith Rowe has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract, but such have been his performances that he has been attracting the interest of other clubs.
Per the source, Arsenal are confident the Croydon-born star will put pen to paper and follow the lead of Saka.
Smith Rowe’s preferred position
Arteta has deployed the England Under-20 man as a No.10 for Arsenal and former Huddersfield first-team coach Mark Hudson says that is his preferred position.
Hudson told Sky Sports: “He can make those forward runs so he can break beyond the striker and play either side. He can drift into pockets on the left or the right, he is not just pigeon-holed in one position.
“He would prefer to play in the centre but we played him off the left a couple of times. If you have a system with a wide-left player who comes in as a second 10 he can do that. If you are playing in a 4-3-3 and are looking for a No 8 stroke No 10 he can do that too.”
Smith Rowe made a big impact in West Yorkshire in the second half of last season.
“You could see his talent immediately, his technique, his ability to speed the game up, take the ball on the half-turn. Because he is young and enthusiastic, he brings an energy and an ability to press as well. And he is so intelligent with his movement.
“He drifts past people; he does not look quick but he is and it is with the ball which is brilliant. A player who naturally glides across the ground and he takes the ball in his stride. He has good vision and a good understanding of the game.
“You could see it in training,” added Hudson.