EXCLUSIVE: West Ham have first refusal on Arsenal attacker Smith Rowe

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 19 Oct 2023 17:23 BST
  • 3 min read
Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal, 2023/24
© ProShots

West Ham have first refusal on Arsenal attacker Emile Smith Rowe, FootballTransfers has been told.

Sources have informed us that the Hammers will get the first opportunity to snap up Smith Rowe if he departs the Emirates Stadium next year - something that was agreed when Arsenal signed Declan Rice.

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We understand that Smith Rowe was David Moyes' preferred choice over Mohamed Kudus, but it was the Ghanaian who was signed.

READ MORE: When does the contract of every Arsenal player expire?

Smith Rowe has returned from a long-term injury but has so far been unable to secure a starting spot at Arsenal, leaving his future uncertain. The 23-year-old will be in search of regular game-time, with his game-time at Arsenal being limited in recent seasons.

Smith Rowe’s current deal is up in 2026 and it’s not clear at this stage whether Arsenal would prefer to loan their academy graduate or sanction a permanent move for him.

READ MORE: ‘Lionel Messi wins 2023 Ballon d’Or’

Emile Smith Rowe claps
© ProShots - Emile Smith Rowe claps
David Moyes cheers on
© ProShots - David Moyes cheers on

What position will Arsenal strengthen in January?

FootballTransfers is told that Arsenal are searching the market in the hope of signing a right-sided defender on loan for the season to cover for Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey, both of whom are on AFCON and AFC Asian Cup duty. Furthermore, there is a need to bolster the backline following the long-term injury sustained by Jurrien Timber.

They do have Cedric Soares as an option but we are told that if a suitable offer comes along in January, they will sell the Portuguese player.

Indeed, Tomiyasu and Partey are likely to miss the games where Arsenal face Nottingham Forest away, Liverpool at home, and West Ham away in the Premier League.

While in the week commencing January 21, the club could be spread thin if they are in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg and FA Cup fourth-round action.

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