There may not be many positives for Arsenal to take from their loss to Hibs this evening, but Emile Smith Rowe did look bright and he scored a nice goal too.
He did breakthrough into the first team last year and he looks like the kind of player that Mikel Arteta should be building the team around going forward, but there was something a bit off this summer.
Transfer interest from Aston Villa simply wouldn’t go away, while there were even suggestions that they were ready to come back with a third offer so there were fears that he could be sold.
It was never going to be a good look for the club if they were cashing in on some of their most promising young players, so this update from Mikel Arteta should be what the fans are looking to hear:
Arteta on Smith Rowe’s future:
Q – Are you determined to keep Emile Smith Rowe despite Aston Villa's interest?
? Without a question. Yes. He will stay here. 100%.
Q – What do you make of Aston Villa's bids?
? No comment. pic.twitter.com/6UGFVvtGz1
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) July 13, 2021
He’s not out of contract imminently so there’s no pressure for Arsenal to let him go, but it would make sense to reward him with a new deal to signal that he really won’t be going anywhere.