July 22, (THEWILL) – English Premier League side Arsenal have put the Emile Smith Rowe transfer business to an end as the youngster penned a new long-term contract with the Gunners. This effectively shuts off attempts by Aston Villa for the midfielder that they had made a summer campaign.
The Arsenal Academy graduate broke into the first team last season with an impressive display and made 33 appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side across all competitions. His very significant contributions attracted Villa, who reportedly made two bids for the Hale End graduate.
However, Arsenal outrightly rejected both the £25 million and £30 million offers as they see the 20-year-old as a long-term asset. Along with his new contract, Smith Rowe got a new shirt number, picking up the number 10 shirt for the 2021/22 season.
The iconic shirt number became vacant at the Emirates Stadium during the January transfer window after Mesut Ozil’s move to Fenerbahce was completed. There were other contenders for the shirt including French forward Alexandre Lacazette.
The manager lavished praise on Smith Rowe’s “exceptional vision” in post-signing comments. Arteta said: “As we all saw last season, Emile is an intelligent player with excellent ability. His sharpness on the turn and exceptional vision have already made him a key player for us.
“His attitude and willingness to learn have also been very impressive. Huge credit goes to our team in our academy, who has given Emile a great education and worked superbly to help with his development through the age groups.
“Along with the first team staff, huge credit also goes to our senior players, who have played such an important role to help Emile develop, gain confidence and perform the way he did last season.
“I know the fans will join us in being delighted that Emile has committed his future to the club. We’re now looking forward to helping him develop further and seeing him become even more important to the strong young team we’re building.”
Edu, Arsenal’s Technical Director Edu added: “This is another important step forward for us and we’re all delighted that Emile has signed a new long-term contract. It’s great to see another young player develop through our academy system to become a key part of our first team.
“Emile is a player who represents the future of the club and this is why we have given him the number 10 shirt. We have trust in Emile and we know he has the potential to be a beautiful player for many years to come.”