Arsenal are ready to sit down with young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe to discuss a new contract as a reward for his outstanding recent form.
A run of two assists and a goal in three Europa League games earned the 20-year-old a spot in the starting lineup for December’s 3-1 win over Chelsea, and since his introduction to the team, Arsenal have not lost a game.
With three Premier League assists to his name already, Smith Rowe has emerged as the creative midfielder Arsenal had been crying out for for months, and according to the Daily Mail, the Gunners are ready to hand him a lucrative new deal.
He currently has two-and-a-half years remaining on his current deal, but Arsenal want to remove any uncertainty surrounding his future and hope to see him sign a new long-term extension before the season comes to a close.
It’s expected that Smith Rowe will be handed somewhere close to the £40,000-a-week recently given to fellow starlet Bukayo Saka, although the payments could be staggered until fans are back at the Emirates.
Arsenal are confident that Smith Rowe will choose to commit himself to the club he has been with since 2010, despite a handful of clubs from around Europe making speculative glances in his direction.
Smith Rowe’s outstanding recent form has seen Arsenal shelve plans to splash out on a new creative midfielder. Big-money moves for the likes of Isco, Houssem Aouar and Julian Brandt had been rumoured, but Mikel Arteta is now prepared to keep faith with the young Englishman.
However, there is an awareness that Smith Rowe cannot be relied upon as Arsenal’s sole creative midfielder, so the hope is to find a lower-profile target capable of sharing the workload.
One player who has recently emerged as a target is Real Madrid‘s Martin Odegaard, who is keen to leave the Santiago Bernabeu on loan this month after failing to make any real impact on the first team.
It’s seen as a tricky deal to pull off, so Arsenal may have to turn elsewhere in their search for another creator.