Arsenal tipped to lose 'disappointed' star to Premier League rivals

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 27 Apr 2023 16:41 BST
  • 3 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, 2022/23
© ProShots

Emile Smith Rowe could leave Arsenal to be reunited with Aston Villa manager Unai Emery next summer according to former Football London journalist Chris Wheatley.

Smith Rowe broke into Arsenal's first team at the same time as Bukayo Saka, but while Saka has blossomed into perhaps the Gunners' best player, Smith Rowe has been beset by injuries.

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The England winger underwent groin surgery last September, and although he has been available for selection since November, he is yet to make a Premier League start for Mikel Arteta's Premier League leaders this season.

READ: Emile Smith Rowe: what next for the Arsenal wonderkid?

Smith Rowe does have 10 substitute appearances under his belt, but with Saka dominating the right wing and Gabriel Martinelli the left, there has simply been no space for him to shine.

Former Arsenal manager Emery wants to bring Smith Rowe to Villa park, according to reports.

'Smith Rowe is wanted by Aston Villa'

"There's absolutely truth in that - Unai Emery's a big admirer of Emile Smith Rowe," Wheatley said on his YoutTube channel. "Don't forget, he was the manager who gave him his opportunity in the Arsenal first-team when he took over as head coach.

"I know he's disappointed with his lack of first-team opportunities... Smith Rowe is wanted by Aston Villa. I think it's a move that he would certainly consider because it's a chance to rejuvenate his career."

READ: Real Madrid could see target snatched by ASTON VILLA

Smith Rowe is valued at €18.1 million by FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm - a number that should be well within Villa's budget as they look to back Emery in his first summer transfer window.

Smith Rowe's current contract at the Emirates runs until June 2026, and the player could yet decide to try and prove himself at the club he grew up supporting.

Villa's interest in an attacking wide man this summer is well-documented, and they were recently backed to beat Real Madrid to the signing of Villarreal's Samuel Chukwueze, whom Emery won the Europa League with in 2021.

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