Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that influential midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will “100%” be staying at the club this summer. The England U21 international has been the subject of concerted interest from Aston Villa, who have tabled two official bids in attempt to sign the player.
Additonally, the Arsenal manager says fellow midfielder Joe Willock is in his plans for the future at the Emirates Stadium. The 21-year-old made a sensational impact on loan at Newcastle United in the second half of the 2020/21 season, prompting questions over where he will be playing his football next season and beyond.
Mikel Arteta Says Emile Smith Rowe Will Definitely Stay at Arsenal
Arsenal Board Confident of New Contract for Midfielder
20-year-old midfielder Smith Rowe excelled for Arsenal last season, despite the club’s difficulties on the pitch leading them to a disappointing 8th-placed finish in the Premier League.
Smith Rowe made 20 league appearances over the course of the campaign, particularly coming to the fore after the Christmas period and ending the top-flight season with two goals and four assists.
Arsenal’s involvement in the cup competitions furthered Smith Rowe’s involvement in the side, enabling the youngster to amass a further 17 appearances in all competitions.
Addressing the speculation around the player’s future, Arteta said: “Emile Smith Rowe will stay at Arsenal, 100% and no doubt.” The Spaniard’s confidence that the midfielder will remain in north London is echoed by the club’s board, who are said to be confident that a new long-term contract will be agreed in due course.
Arteta Also Planning to Keep Joe Willock
Another Arsenal player whose future is far from certain is versatile midfielder Joe Willock. The central midfielder, who has also featured in attacking midfield and on the right, made a blistering impact on loan at Newcastle United last season.
In 14 Premier League appearances for the Magpies, Willock plundered eight goals, becoming a firm favourite on Tyneside as he helped the club secure Premier League status for at least another season.
Many Newcastle supporters would love to see Willock return to the club, but Arteta is planning on keeping the midfielder as he plans for the upcoming season. The Gunners boss said: “Willock is our player and we count him in our plans,” seemingly pouring cold water on talk of another loan exit.
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