Despite not playing very often for RB Leipzig during his loan spell there last season, the German side were apparently keen to keep Emile Smith Rowe for a further year.
However, according to Bild a conversation between Arsenal and the Bundesliga outfit this month put an end to that prospect.
It had even been mooted that a purchase agreement was up for discussion, although that would have made little sense given the 18 year old’s standing as one of the club’s most highly rated young talents.
Smith Rowe scored three times for the first team this season, but injury meant his playing time was restricted to just three substitute appearances.
Our youth correspondent Jeorge Bird wrote over the weekend about the decision Arsenal have to make with him next season. Will it be a loan, or integration into the first team if he’s considered ready for that?
In their recent interview with the official website, Managing Director Vinai Venkatesham and Head of Football Raul Sanllehi made it clear they saw promotions from the Academy as a key part of the squad building process.
“We want to make sure we continue to promote players into our first team, and that they make a real impact,” said Venkatesham.
“It’s important because it’s obvious financially efficient, but we also want players in the first team dressing room who have grown up with the club and who really know what it means to represent Arsenal.”
The summer recruitment may tell us a bit more about what will happen with Smith Rowe next season. He’s already shown he’s got some end product at first team level, but maybe a year away playing regularly as he matures physically might well be the best option.