Emile Smith Rowe was one of our key players in the 2021–22 season. In 33 league games that season, he managed 10 goals and 2 assists. We hoped he would improve his statistics in the 2022–23 season and continue to grow in the game but unfortunately, injuries impeded his growth.
He failed to find his rhythm last season, only making 12 league appearances. In the summer of 2023, numerous reports linked him with a move away; however, he stayed, and many were quick to suggest this season could be his last to prove he’s worthy of being in Arteta’s project.
After injuries impeded his progression last season, there was hope he was going to establish himself as a first-teamer this season. But he is yet to do that; he hasn’t played much in the Premier League, out of 8 games, he’s only featured in one, versus Bournemouth, as an 80th-minute substitute.
There’s really no guarantee of him playing much, with Arteta hinting that he is not going to ask much of him as he feels he’s not yet ready to play a huge role, though he hinted that he is going to introduce him to the team slowly.
This situation may frustrate the Englishman, who may be keen to play more, and so he may be tempted to leave the club in the winter. Kevin Campbell believes that if Arsenal find themselves in a position to sell the Hale End graduate, they may do so.
He feels the club may look at the prospect of selling Smith Rowe and boosting their transfer kitty for our January moves for players like Ivan Toney and Pedro Neto as a wise move. Campbell, on the Highbury Squad, almost admitted Smith Rowe’s time at Arsenal is running out, saying, “For us to get Toney and Neto, would we sell ESR (Smith Rowe)? I would have to. And that’s the key. I would have to, because I know the feeling and stuff, but we want to win now. He’s not going to go out on loan again, and rightfully so, because he is an established first-team player.
“Sometimes we have to cut the cord, and we have to be ruthless, in the sense that, if I am going to get this player in and that player in, especially in January, then we have to be able to move and shake a little bit differently. And we might have to get somebody out in order to bring somebody in.”
If Smith Rowe leaves in January, it is unlikely he’ll leave on a loan deal, as Campbell notes; he’ll almost certainly leave on a permanent deal. The club should be wise to include a buyback clause in his exit deal. That said, many of us Gooners are hoping that in the next two months, he will do something magical to make sure he stays, but if he leaves, we ought to bring in top-quality stars to fill his gap.
Do you think Arsenal should cash in on Smith-Rowe in January?
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