Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that the club plans to sit down and hold talks with Emile Smith Rowe about the prospect of him signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
In what has been a largely uninspiring campaign for the Gunners, Smith Rowe has been a shinning light since breaking into the team on a regular basis since Christmas.
Alongside fellow academy graduate Bukayo Saka, Smith Rowe, who spent time on loan at Championship side Huddersfield Town last season, has carried the rest of the team at times in recent months, with his performances having been nothing short of superb.
His showings, of course, have been met with no shortage of plaudits from Arsenal’s supporters, most of whom are confident that he can be the long-term attacking-midfielder that they desperately crave.
Although he is under contract in north London until the summer of 2023, Arteta has now confirmed that talks are going to take place about him extending his contract at the Emirates Stadium beyond that date.
“We are going to have that discussion,” Arteta told Sky Sports when asked if plans were in place to tie Smith Rowe down to a long-term deal.
“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.”
In the last couple of weeks, following on from the European Super League debacle, Arsenal’s supporters have vented a lot of anger at the club, most certainly owner Stan Kroenke. But if the Gunners were to shown an eagerness to tie Smith Rowe down to a new deal and sort out his long-term future, it would most certainly go down well with the supporters and give them something to smile about.
But whilst Smith Rowe signing a new deal would give them a boost, Arteta insists it is important that a relationship between the club and the fans is rebuilt once the Emirates Stadium’s turnstiles are allowed to start clicking again.
The Arsenal boss added: “We really need them; to be with the team, to believe in the team, to support them. With them closer, we are much stronger.
“That’s what we ask them and we promise them we’ll give everything we can to fulfil their expectations, to give them some joy and some special moments.”