Nuno Tavares might just have told Arsenal what to do with Emile Smith Rowe amid talk of an exit for the youngster.
Smith Rowe has been the subject of two bids from Aston Villa this summer, and the Birmingham Mail report a third bid is expected with the Midlands club quietly confident there is a deal to be done.
The young midfielder is said to be seeking assurances that he will continue to get first-team opportunities amid reports Arsenal want to source a replacement for Martin Odegaard, who occupied Smith Rowe’s preferred position.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are set to offer Smith Rowe a new five-year deal, a contract he could well sign, and that would get approval from new signing Tavares, whose arrival was confirmed today on a £6.8million deal from Benfica.
“In the present I like [Smith Rowe], because he is my generation,” Tavares told the official website. “He’s played against us, on the same side – he played on the right, I played on the left – for the selection (youth) team. He’s a good player.
The 21-year-old left-back also spoke about Bukayo Saka and his Arsenal hero of the past.
“I see Saka too,” he added. “Young players, good players. And from the past I like Henry. A very good player, and it’s good for me to remember that story.”
As Tavares mentions, he played against Arsenal this season, coming off the bench against the Gunners in the Europa League when Benfica lost 4-3 on aggregate.
Despite only making a substitute appearance, he clearly did enough to catch the eye of the Gunners.