Emile Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal, the club have confirmed officially, thus ending the speculation about his near future at a stroke.
Smith Rowe was offered a place in the Arsenal Academy at the age of 10, and his progress was often praised by the people who worked with him between then and now. Having risen through the youth ranks, he had loan spells with RB Leipzig and Huddersfield at a time when his development required regular first-team football, and he was finally given a place in Mikel Arteta’s squad last summer.
The expulsion of Mesut Ozil from the team ahead of 2020-21 proved a true blessing for Smith Rowe, whose importance on the pitch consequently grew apace. Over the course of the season he made a total of 37 appearances in all competitions, hitting the target seven times and turning provider for goals on the same number of occasions.
At the end of the campaign, Aston Villa started showing strong interest in his services, having already acquired Emiliano Buendia, a reported Arsenal target, from Norwich City. Arsenal rejected two offers for his services, and Villa were recently said to be preparing a third, but the Gunners certainly won’t be entertaining any thoughts of parting with the 20-year-old for a while with the new five-year deal now signed. Even before that, Arteta was adamant that Smith Rowe would be going nowhere this summer.
“This is another important step forward for us and we’re all delighted that Emile has signed a new long-term contract,” technical director Edu said.
“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 No 10 shirt. We have trust in Emile and we know he has the potential to be a beautiful player for many years to come.”