Matt Maher has dropped a fresh update on Aston Villa’s pursuit of Arsenal and England U21 star Emile Smith Rowe.
Now, The Express and Star’s Maher has claimed that “Villa are refusing to give up their pursuit” of the youngster, “as they continue with an ambitious summer transfer strategy, aimed at bolstering Dean Smith’s attacking options.”
He adds: “Securing the signing of Smith Rowe would, however, deliver the biggest statement yet. The England youth international was among Arsenal’s brightest performers last season and has been in talks over a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
“Yet while an agreement is still to be reached, Villa will believe they still have a chance of prising him away. The pursuit of Smith Rowe is not an attempt to bring in a replacement for Jack Grealish, though the Villa skipper’s future is under scrutiny amid serious interest from Manchester City. Ideally, Villa want Grealish, Smith Rowe and Buendia to be playing in the same team next season.”
After Villa’s first bid for Smith Rowe was revealed, The Athletic’s Aston Villa correspondent Gregg Evans said at the time: “Villa’s ambitions are becoming crystal clear. Not only are they showing no signs of slowing down their spending spree under Sawiris and Edens, but they are also looking at ways to weaken clubs who could be direct rivals.
“Bidding for Smith Rowe is the most obvious sign yet of that. But this strategic approach of trying to pick apart big teams is taking Villa to a new level. That they feel Smith Rowe is an achievable target says everything about the way the club are moving forward. The very thought of taking away one of Arsenal’s most exciting young players just a few years ago would have been laughed at.
“Also, while their desires to sign Smith Rowe are real, it’s one thing bidding for him, and another actually landing the attacker. But already, these are starting to feel like exciting times for Villa. They are flexing their muscles in the market and aiming high.”
The fact Villa are after Smith Rowe and are “refusing to give up” on him is a major statement in and of itself.
This was the same club who only just survived relegation back to the Championship in the summer of 2020, and yet after a meteoric rise spearheaded by some lavish spending from NSWE, have catapulted themselves into the conversation for European places.
Whether Smith Rowe does arrive or not isn’t the be-all and end-all. It’s more the declaration of intent that Villa fans will be grinning from ear to ear about, and leave them smirking about the very idea of poaching one of the Premier League’s “big six’s” brightest young talents.