Aston Villa want Arsenal starlet despite £25m rejection – Should they get him?

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Aston Villa chase Emile Smith Rowe transfer

According to a report by The Telegraph (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa are preparing another offer for Arsenal starlet, Emile Smith Rowe. Their initial transfer package of around £25million was rejected by the Gunners. However, that has not deterred the Villans in their pursuit of the English youngster.

Smith Rowe has come up through the Arsenal youth academy and has made a massive impression at the Emirates over the last few years. But with Villa already having signed an attacking playmaker like Emiliano Buendia, do they need to splash the cash on another creative midfielder like Smith Rowe? The answer is yes, and we find out why.

Villa need to plug midfield holes

Aston Villa had a decent season in the Premier League despite finishing 11th in the table. They excited their fans as well as neutral onlookers over the course of the season- with their 7-2 demolition of the then defending league champions, Liverpool, epitomizing the potential in their team.

Manchester City are interested in Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.
Manchester City are interested in Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish. (GETTY Images)

And that is something Dean Smith must build upon next season. For that, it becomes important to keep hold of your core players as well as add players in areas to strengthen the squad. They have done exactly that with the signing of Buendia. But they need players in the midfield.

Ross Barkley, who was loaned in from Chelsea for the season, featured prominently for the club in the No.10 role before and after his fitness issues during this season. But he is now at Chelsea, meaning Villa are without a midfielder who featured in 26 league games last season. On top of that, two influential playmakers have been linked with an exit.

Jack Grealish, a left-winger by trade who can slot in as an attacking midfielder, is heavily linked with an exit to Manchester City, as per a report by The Telegraph (Subscription Required). To make matters worse, dependable midfielder John McGinn, according to the Sunday Post (h/t The Daily Record) is a transfer target for Liverpool. This is where Emile Smith Rowe can play a useful role.

Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal is a transfer target for Aston Villa.
Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal is a transfer target for Aston Villa. (GETTY Images)

Emile Smith Rowe transfer makes sense for Villa

Villa are lacking midfielders and Conor Hourihane’s contract, which expires in the summer of 2022, is an added headache for Smith. Even if the current crop of Villa midfielders don’t leave, adding attacking talent such as that of Smith Rowe is a big statement.

Signing a talented Arsenal youth product gives off a message that Villa can be a viable destination for top youngsters trying to make a name for themselves. Another thing about Smith Rowe is his versatility. Apart from being a No.10, a position where Villa are incredibly short, he can play in central midfield.

Moreover, he has played as a left-sided midfielder for Arsenal, which means he can potentially take over Grealish’s position if the 25-year-old does end up leaving Villa Park. At 20, Smith Rowe has a number of years left before he can truly reach his potential, which means any investment in him can pay dividends over the years.

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Arteta himself called Smith Rowe’s performances ‘extraordinary’ at Arsenal this season and mentioned how the expectations were high when it comes to the young midfielder (Sky Sports via The Independent). Hence, all signs point towards making this a deal that Villa should get over the line.