Emile Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal. Smith Rowe’s current contract was due to expire in twelve months time, and there were several bids from Aston Villa, all of which Arsenal rejected, before getting Smith Rowe to put pen to paper.
Smith Rowe, who broke into Arsenal’s starting lineup last season, also gets a new shirt number: #10, which reflects his growing importance to Arsenal.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Smith Rowe said, “I feel like I didn’t really have to think about it too much you know. I’ve been at the club since I was 10 years old, so for me it was just about carrying on at this club, so like I said, I’m really happy.”
Mikel 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.”
Smith Rowe’s new contract does provide a possible bump in the road for Arsenal in their search for an attacking midfielder. One reason why Martin Ødegaard was such a success last season was his ability to play with Smith Rowe, who utilized his own versatility by playing from the left hand side, but also because of Ødegaard’s propensity to drift to the inside-right channel. Smith Rowe’s contract and number make it very clear that he, along with Bukayo Saka, is who Arsenal are building their future around, and any player who comes in is going to have to be able to play with Smith Rowe instead of him.