Noel Whelan has stated that Arsenal have to prioritise the extended signing of midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.
The 21 year-old took his opportunity this season with both hands, making his first Premier League start against Chelsea on Boxing Day and never looking back.
ESR swiftly became an integral first-team player with a string of consistent performances, and he simply has to part of the core that we build the team around moving forwards.
With that in mind, the club has to be looking into tying him down to a new deal, with his current terms having just two years remaining, and with his salary certainly not matching his current standing within the playing squad.
“This is probably one of the biggest signings Arsenal need to make right now. He was a standout,” Whelan told the Football Insider.
“If Arsenal allow him to leave, there will be massive uproar. People will be asking for Arteta’s head.
“Arteta will realise with all the experience they had in midfield and the big money they spent. It was never the big players that shone. It was the young players, Saka, Smith Rowe. They were the driving force for Arsenal last season.
“To get him tied down is as big as anything. There’s no way they can allow him to leave. That young man’s in a very strong position to negotiate for his contract. I do not think that they will allow that to happen.
“If that happened, there would be absolute uproar at Arsenal. This is a massive contract.”
Smith Rowe’s future is something we definitely shouldn’t be dragging our feet over, but with two years on his current deal it doesn’t necessarily need to be a priority.
We have holes in our current squad which do need addressing before the new season, in central midfield and at full-back, but ESR’s new deal should definitely be cleared up also.
Could ESR have any thoughts about leaving the Emirates?