Should Arsenal sell Smith-Rowe in January to boost our transfer kitty?

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?

Daniel O

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Tags Kevin Campbell


  1. There are currently four players for the left-sided AM role:

    – Rice has played the role very well against Man City, but he would have to be a specialist CDM if Partey, Jorginho and Elneny leave at the end of the season

    – Havertz hasn’t made any open-play goal or assist yet from that position

    – Trossard isn’t getting any younger

    Therefore, Smith-Rowe is required to compete with Havertz

    Martinelli also used to be benched for a long time, before he gradually seized the LW role from Smith-Rowe. I’m sure Smith-Rowe will be able to do it to Havertz, as Saka did to Pepe

    1. I remember vividly, Saka was given occasional chance at Epl games when pepe was around and he took it wisely. ESR isn’t really in Arteta thoughts in my opinion he wouldn’t have bought Havertz. Factually, I don’t see ESR displaced Havertz any time soon. I like ESR a lot and feel this is the time and age to regain his invite to England National team. He need to move for the purpose of his career. Would be painful for me and many Arsenal fans.

      1. Smith-Rowe’s contract will expire in 2026, so Arsenal would likely have to ship him out or extend his contract next summer

    2. There is a certain bias to keep Hale End graduates at the club, but every season we keep them and not give them minutes is every season we bring their value down. I understand they fulfil the homegrown quota – but why not give him minutes and boost his value/confidence and find out if he is good enough to cope with pressure? If it is so not possible, just move him and do not bother what he can do later

  2. Smith-Rowe doesn’t become a free agent until 2026 so he can’t choose to leave, its entirely down to the club. I can’t see him being picked ahead of Havertz as that would be an admission of failure by the manager. So the question becomes is there any value in keeping a presumably increasingly unhappy player as back up. If Arsenal were to sell him the next question would be what is he actually worth ? The less a player plays the more his value drops.

  3. Nobody here wants him gone. But the fact is that for his own career’s sake, he should leave. He’s as talented as Saka, Martinelli and Ødegaard but hasn’t got the consistent chances.

    The club does everything for some players to “showcase” their talents including handing them penalties just to boost their morale despite said players playing consistently (and in absolute mediocrity) in the league for 3 years and earning obscene wages, while others have to “prove” that they’re good enough to start.

    I pray Emery gets his hands on him and we’ll all see that he’s a Bellingham (like many here have rightly said in the past). Wherever he goes (if he does), I will always be his fan even if he’s playing for Tottenham Hotspur

    1. DGR,

      I totally agree with you!!!

      Arsenal owe it to ESR to let him go to a team that will appreciate his talent

  4. ESR unfortunately has not had the opportunities to play and compete.

    He seemed healthy in the Euros, but now he’s not? Why introduce him slowly when Havertz was forced in?

    ESR is more familiar with the system and understands the strengths of his teammates, while Havertz knows little and has to learn everything.

    Getting tired of the excuses, tired of narratives, and tired of favoritism.

    Is Havertz a better player than ESR? How? In what areas? Who is more productive?

    So much for “competition” we heard about, too busy “showcasing” some while excluding others.

    Let’s see how things go this year with “competition” and “rotation” with players, we have depth and quality but how will Arteta manage it?

  5. ESR hasn’t got a strong physical presence which Arteta seems to want for that left eight role that’s why he’s used big players there in Xhaka Havertz and Rice. So my guess is that you’d see some more of ESR if Odegaard was to pull up or if we had Martinelli and Trossard injuries we might see ESR back out there again. Unfortunately, injuries are his route into playing time it seems for now

    I’d only sell him in Jan if the player was thinking about leaving us and if we are guaranteed to get our top targets. Jan is a tough window so I’m not sure. ESR helps enhance our bench options

    1. ESR two seasons ago played LW scoring 10 goals why Amtinelli put on the bench, now it’s Trosard with less physical attributes prefered than him in the absence of Matinelli. It’s no more about fitness he played in all England under 21 games scoring and making assist. He just seem not to be in the coach plans

      1. ESR is more a controller on LW, Martineli is different – has different attributes. But I prefer ESR getting minutes and staying, or move on if he cannot get enough minutes

  6. As a player with his proven quality, how much longer will ESR be content with watching from the bench instead of actively participating in matches? I hope he stays with the team, but if he requests a transfer, many of us would understand his decision.

  7. Selling Smith Rowe is not as straightforward as some of us may think, this one has the potential that could leave huges eggs on the gaffer face.

    This talented kid has been by large fit and looking sharp every time he’s call upon, he has grossly been mismanaged, it is for this reason I think our young gaffer needs an experience number two in his corner.

  8. Yes if that would facilitate the acquisition of a DM of some quality. Let’s keep sentiments aside and not make the mistake we made with Maitland-Niles.
    If a good offer (one in the region of 35-40m) comes in, my view would be: sell. We have an aging defensive midfield which could do with some rejuvenation. Lokonga whom we had hoped would provide it is not showing much promise, unfortunately

  9. Selling a promising young player who has outperformed our 65m man on multiple occasions is an outright travesty. Imagine if we sold Martinelli 3 season ago before he became a first team regular and continued playing Willian and Pepe

  10. What a waste. We all agree that he has to go for his own sake but it’s a shame getting rid of one of your future hopes, especially as we know the club will be stuck with either aging or unproductive future deadwood in the likes of Elneny, Trossard, Harvertz, Nketian Jorghino and Partey .

  11. How much will a like for like replacement for ESR cost in the future?
    If Arsenal/Arteta consider they have better options in midfield at present, then ESR should be sold to provide funding for strengthening positions Arteta requires and allow a talented footballer to pursue his career elsewhere.

  12. I for one, wouldnt sell ESR. Not only he is one of our very own, a true gunner through and through but also for the fact that I feel he has not been given enough chances to prove himself. The chances that Nketiah and Havertz get are not provided to eSR. Play Havertz as false 9 and play ESR in Havertz place in the midfield or put ESR on the wings. He is really talented and it wouldnt be wise to sell him. Also, Arsenal is competing in 4 tournaments and the more players we have the better. ESR is a quality player who can make a difference to the team.

    1. ESR needs to show his worth in training. Do you all think Arteta wouldn’t play him if he showed in training that he deserves to start? You all need to slow down. ESR plays well on the wings but doesn’t play well as a central or attacking midfielder.

  13. Again, ESR issue and am not ashame to be counted as his fan sell him or keep him. My opinion may differ from the rest. I think, there may be hidden plans to get rid of every player not bought by Arteta with a slightest reason. This is a talent every one agrees and liken him to Paul Gascoigne. Can anyone including Arteta come out and tell us why game time is not given to him? How can he rediscover his form without playing? Fellow Gunners, there’s more to it than meets the eye. How I wish any of our rivals will get him so that he can have an opportunity to punish us.

  14. Though I remain a huge MA supporter, I fail to understand his seeming reluctance to use ESR. I would be picking ESR regularly, were I our manager.

  15. ESR is a good player, but I think he should be coming on for Saka while Ødegaard play the evercuated position of Saka and ESR play as 10.
    His got an eye for goal.
    Perhaps he should come on for Kai and Ødegaard plays in the evercuated position of Kai and ESR plays the position left by Ødegaard.

    Second half midfield to attack
    1) Martinelli Jesus Saka


    Ødegaard Rice .

    2) Martinelli Jesus Saka


    Partey Rice.

    I for one very much like the (2) because Partey and Rice would be a good cover for ESR defensively in the second half so the lad has less much to do.

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