Arsenal have tied Emile Smith Rowe down to a new long-term contract, ending months of speculation over the possibility of a summer move to Aston Villa. The young midfielder has also been handed the coveted No 10 shirt, most recently occupied by Mesut Ozil, ahead of next season.
Smith Rowe has been heavily linked with Villa since the beginning of the summer window, with the west Midlands club reportedly seeing two bids rejected for the 20-year-old.
However, any lingering hopes of securing a deal have been quashed by the midfielder’s decision to commit his future to the Gunners.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reacted to the news by highlighting Smith Rowe’s excellent attacking nous and the lofty potential he will be expected to deliver on when the new season gets underway.
“As we all saw last season, Emile is an intelligent player with excellent ability,” said the Spaniard.
“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.”
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“Huge credit to our team in our academy who have given Emile a great education and have 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.”
Arteta’s comments were echoed by Arsenal director Edu, who added: “This is another important step forward for us and we’re all delighted that Emile has signed a new long-term contract.”
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