James Maddison: Facts and stats of Arsenal-linked midfielder
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Emile Smith Rowe appears to have revealed his new Arsenal shirt number ahead of the new Premier League season amid rumours he could be leaving the Emirates Stadium this summer. The talented midfielder has been subject to interest from Aston Villa, who have seen two bids for Smith Rowe knocked back by the Gunners.
Dean Smith’s side initially submitted a bid worth £20million for the 20-year-old, before seeing a second offer in the region of £30m also rejected.
The Arsenal academy graduate impressed for the Mikel Arteta’s side last campaign, scoring twice and registering four assists in all competitions.
Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are very much viewed as the future of Arsenal and the club are desperate to keep hold of their young, attacking talents at all costs.
Asked if Smith Rowe would be staying at the club following the Gunners’ recent pre-season defeat to Hibernian, Arteta responded: “Without a question. He will stay here. 100 per cent.”
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This was the news Arsenal fans had certainly hoped to hear, though the Croydon-born midfielder may have dropped a hint of his own that he will be playing his football in north London next season.
Pictured with a fan in Scotland, Smith Rowe can be seen wearing an Arsenal training kit with the number ten on the front of the shirt.
The youngster currently wears number 32 but looks set to be given an upgrade to a more popular choice.
Smith Rowe was seen attempting to hide his new shirt number during a training session with the Gunners earlier this week, but may have now given away the game.
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Mesut Ozil most recently occupied the number ten shirt but left the Gunners on a permanent basis in January to join Turkish side Fenerbahce.
Smith Rowe currently has two years remaining on his Arsenal contract, and the north London side are believed to have entered discussions about a new deal.
He currently earns around £15,000 per week with the Gunners, though will reportedly see his wages rise to approximately £40,000 should he commit his future to the club.
Villa will hope he opts for a new challenge, though Smith Rowe has previously made clear his strong feelings for Arsenal.
Speaking on Arsenal’s official YouTube channel back in February, he said: “Being an Arsenal fan from such a young age, getting an opportunity to help put on the Arsenal shirt and step out on that pitch, there’s really no better feeling for me.”
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