May 18, 2021

Mikel Arteta provides insight into Arsenal-Smith Rowe contract talks

Mikel Arteta provides insight into Arsenal-Smith Rowe contract talks

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has this weekend opened up on the club’s plans to tie midfielder Emile Smith Rowe down to fresh terms.

Gunners struggling

Mikel Arteta’s first full season in charge at the Emirates has of course proven far from smooth sailing.

After clinching both the FA Cup and Community Shield last time out, before following up with the summer additions of Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey, the capital giants were widely expected to kick on towards a return to the Premier League’s top-4 picture.

Mikel Arteta provides insight into Arsenal-Smith Rowe contract talks

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates with the trophy after winning the Heads Up FA Cup final match at Wembley Stadium, London. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

The months since, however, have seen quite the opposite unfold.

After surrendering their FA Cup crown, the north Londoners have since slipped to the disappointing depths of mid-table in the English top-flight, behind the likes of West Ham, Everton and Leeds.

‘Earned the right’

Such woes, of course, have come amid sub-par performances on the part of a host of Arsenal’s stars.

The likes of Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have largely disappointed to this point in the campaign, as some of the most high-profile members of Arteta’s squad continue to let the Spaniard down when it matters most.

On the flip-side, however, has been the continued emergence of burgeoning young talent at the Emirates.

Bukayo Saka represents the most obvious example, with Arsenal’s gifted teenage wide-man having stood as the club’s most consistent performer thus far in 2020/21.

Also impressive, though, has been fellow Hale End academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe.

Amid an alarming lack of creativity through the middle over the opening months of the season, English youth international Smith Rowe was finally handed an extended chance to impress by Mikel Arteta ahead of the turn of the year.

And to say that the 20-year-old has since taken advantage of the opportunity afforded to him would be putting it lightly.

ESR has established himself as a crucial link between midfield and attack for Arsenal, showcasing the kind of ability which should see him continue to shine in north London for years to come.

In turn, speaking during an interview with Sky Sports this weekend, Mikel Arteta was drawn on whether Smith Rowe’s emergence could soon see the starlet rewarded with an improved contract.

And the Arsenal boss went on to confirm as much, assuring that ESR ‘wants to continue’ with the club:

‘We are going to have that discussion.’

‘I think Emile has earned the right to look at that situation because of the performances that he has produced.’

‘He’s very much engaged and wants to continue with us, that’s for sure.’

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 34 47 80
2 Manchester United FC 33 29 67
3 Leicester City FC 34 22 63
4 Chelsea FC 33 20 58
5 West Ham United FC 33 10 55
6 Liverpool FC 33 16 54
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 33 18 53
8 Everton FC 32 4 52
9 Leeds United 34 -2 47
10 Arsenal FC 33 7 46
11 Aston Villa FC 32 9 45
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 33 -13 41
13 Crystal Palace FC 33 -22 38
14 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 34 -4 37
15 Southampton FC 33 -18 37
16 Burnley FC 33 -15 36
17 Newcastle United FC 33 -18 36
18 Fulham FC 33 -18 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 33 -34 25
20 Sheffield United FC 33 -38 17
Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 21
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 16
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 15
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 14
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 14
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 13
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 10
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 10
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 10
Iheanacho, Kelechi Leicester City FC 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 9
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9