Two of Arsenal’s coveted midfielders are expected to remain at the Emirates Stadium this season despite speculation over their futures…
The Athletic’s David Ornstein relayed a fresh update to supporters after Gunners boss Mikel Arteta played down reports linking Emile Smith Rowe to Aston Villa and Joe Willock with a return to Newcastle United.
“Without a question. Yes. He (Smith Rowe) will stay here. 100 per cent,” claimed the 39-year-old.
“Well, he (Willock) wasn’t involved today because he had a little groin issue. He trained yesterday really well but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here, we will try to make the most out of him. He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think one of the most important players for their survival.”
During the off-season so far, Villa have submitted two bids for the Croydon-born playmaker, which have both been rejected by the Arsenal hierarchy, whilst Steve Bruce has been keen to bring Willock back to St James’ Park after scoring eight goals on loan there last season.
This will come as hugely exciting news for everyone associated with the North London giants.
Smith Rowe is one of Arteta’s most creative and dynamic options in the current squad. He can play on either flank and through the middle, and with no new no.10 signing in sight, he could benefit from further playing time next season.
Arteta is clearly a massive fan, having dubbed him “extraordinary” back in January and after scoring in their pre-season opener this week, many fans are demanding that he sign a new contract, as revealed by football.london. They will be buzzing that he’s certainly here to stay in 2021/22.
Similarly, it’s positive news that Willock is in line for more game time and quite understandably too as both Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Real Madrid, whilst Granit Xhaka is expected to join AS Roma this window.
After bagging eight goals from midfield in a poor Magpies side, the 21-year-old could be an intriguing weapon under the Spanish coach next term.
The presence of Smith Rowe and Willock in Arteta’s first-team is another fantastic sign for the Gunners’ Hale End academy, too.
This latest information, via Ornstein, should have many in N5 absolutely thrilled.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano drops exciting Arsenal transfer update…