Why Emile Smith Rowe deserves a new contract at Arsenal
Smith Rowe still has a lot of time remaining on the five-year deal that he signed with the Gunners back in 2018 but is set to enter the final two years of that agreement at the end of the season. It is understood that the North Londoners are not prepared to take any chances with their star academy graduate and will offer him fresh terms in the coming months.
Career so far
Smith Rowe made his senior breakthrough for Arsenal during the 2018-19 season under former manager Unai Emery after impressing for the U-23s. He made his competitive debut against Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava in the group stages of the Europa League.
After scoring thrice in 6 appearances in the domestic cup and Europa League, Smith Rowe joined RB Leipzig on loan for the second half of the campaign to further his development. However, the 20-year-old’s spell in Germany was blighted by injuries, limiting him to just three substitute appearances in the Bundesliga.
The youngster made his Premier League debut for the Gunners in 2019-20 before heading out on loan to Huddersfield Town in the Championship. Smith Rowe struggled with injuries following his return to the Emirates but has gradually worked his way into Arteta’s plans.
Having caught the eye in the group stages of the Europa League, Smith Rowe was entrusted with the No.10 role by Arteta against Chelsea in the Premier League in December. The starlet produced a sparkling display as the Gunners beat their London rivals 3-1 on Boxing Day.
That was enough for him to cement his place in the starting XI and Smith Rowe hasn’t looked back ever since. The playmaker has started each of Arsenal’s last five games in the Premier League and while he’s yet to score, Smith Rowe has contributed with 3 assists already. That has taken his overall tally for the season up to 5 goals and 5 assists in 14 appearances across all competitions.
A step in the right direction?
Arsenal were languishing in the bottom half of the standings when Emile Smith Rowe came into the mix towards the end of last month. The Gunners have climbed up to 11th within a space of just three weeks, which pretty much shows the impact the youngster has had on Arteta’s dynamics in the final third.
The 20-year-old’s rich vein of form has been instrumental in Arsenal’s recent upturn in form in the Premier League. With Mesut Ozil no longer at the club and Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos failing to impress, the door remains open for Smith Rowe to establish himself as the Gunners’ next creative lynchpin.
Academy starlet Bukayo Saka committed his long-term future to the club with a new contract earlier in the season. A new deal for Smith Rowe, to that end, would represent yet another step in the right direction for the Gunners. It’s a no-brainer that he deserves to be rewarded with improved terms for his rise to prominence in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s pursuit of a new creative midfielder has been well-documented in recent months given the lack of quality in that department. However, with Emile Smith Rowe rising to the challenge, the Gunners could save themselves millions of pounds in the transfer market. He has already started to deliver on his potential at the highest level and looks like a star in the making.
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Having said that, Arsenal should have a lucrative new deal for the youngster high on their agenda moving forward.