Mikel Arteta provides firm update on future of Emile Smith Rowe

Jamie Spencer
Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe is a transfer target for Aston Villa
Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe is a transfer target for Aston Villa / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said he is ‘100%’ certain that Emile Smith Rowe will not leave the club this summer, despite multiple bids for the young attacker from an ambitious Aston Villa.

Villa have already had £25m and £30m offers for Smith Rowe rejected by the Gunners and there had been talk of an improved third bid for the impressive 20-year-old, who enjoyed a breakout season in Arsenal’s first-team in 2020/21 and is set for a key role in 2021/22.

It was reported earlier this month that a new and improved five-year contract reflecting his new-found first-team status is likely for Smith Rowe and Arteta has now underpinned the belief that the player will be staying at the club.

“Without a question [I am determined to keep him]. He will stay here, 100 per cent,” the boss is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail after Smith Rowe scored in Arsenal’s first pre-season game.

Emile Smith Rowe
Smith Rowe scored in Arsenal's opening pre-season game against Hibernian / Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Smith Rowe made his Arsenal debut in 2018 and proceeded to have an injury-hampered loan at RB Leipzig, before spending the second half of the 2019/20 season at Huddersfield. He then broke into the Arsenal team halfway through last season and went on to rack up 33 appearances in total.

Villa's attempts to prise him away from the Emirates Stadium look to be futile, but it's unlikely that Joe Willock will stay put in north London despite Arteta stating after the Hibernian defeat that the 21-year-old remains "part of his plans".

Willock enjoyed a sensational loan spell at Newcastle last season, scoring eight times in 14 Premier League appearances after moving to St James' Park in January. 90min understands that although Arteta was prepared to give him a chance at Arsenal this season, it was apparent after extensive talks that Willock will not feature as often as he'd like in the first team.

Joe Willock
Joe Willock has a future at Arsenal after impressing for Newcastle while on loan / Stu Forster/Getty Images

Consequently, the young midfielder will now be allowed to choose his next loan destination, and Willock has indicated that he'd like to return to Newcastle. Talks are already underway for that move to take place, and there's likely to be an obligation to buy clause included this time - with the fee likely to be in the region of £15m.

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