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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