Mikel Arteta refused to comment on reported bids by Aston Villa for Emile Smith Rowe, but insisted the 20 year old would ‘100%’ stay at Arsenal.

The exciting midfielder scored for the Gunners in the 2-1 defeat to Hibernian last night, and although his future has been subject to some speculation, the manager sounded categorical about what would happen.

Asked if Smith Rowe would be at the club next season, Arteta said, “Without a question. Yes. He. will stay here. 100%.”

There has also been speculation about the Hale End graduate’s number for next season, with training photos teasing fans by not showing the digits.

With talk of a new five year deal being close to completion, a new number seems almost a certainty, and although he wore 32 last night, it would be no surprise to see his creative talents acknowledged with the number most closely associated with them.

ESR 10? Let’s wait and see.

Meanwhile, Arteta also spoke about Joe Willock whose absence last night sparked some talk of a loan with Newcastle, but it sounds very much as if he is part of the plans for next season too.

“He wasn’t involved today because he had a little groin issue,” he said.

“He trained yesterday really well but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.

“He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think one of the most important players for their survival.”

His goalscoring run towards the end of last season certainly increased his transfer value, but Arsenal also need goals from midfield, and if Willock can contribute in that regard, it would be of real benefit to a side whose central midfielders scored a grand total of two Premier League goals last season.

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Xzibit

Say that you’ll stay..

Tomislav

forever and a day…

assistantref

“He trained yesterday really well but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.”

“And in the time that he is here” doesn’t exactly sound like they’re ruling out selling him.

John C

It was pretty non-committal wasn’t it? I interpret it as he’s for sale for the right price and if we can sign a replacement, although i’m sure price is the biggest factor.

I’m sure Willock isn’t at the top of our departure list but he’s definitely on it. Arteta had no problem saying ESR was 100% staying, so it’s not like his style is to be coy on the subject.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Selling Willock is a crime.

Heavenly Chapecoense

The only fighter we have in the team. Captain surrender and other teammates accept defeats.

karl

I think it means that the right offer would see him leave. To be fair, I have never seen anywhere near the Newcastle form for Arsenal. If Arteta’s style made Joe anonymous again, we would all wonder why we didn’t accept a bid.

Teta's cult of personality

I don’t think we’ll ever see Joe’s Newcastle form at Arsenal. Even most strikers don’t score for 7 consecutive games. But, we have seen that he can get goal contributions at Arsenal before. The Europa League games, the 5-5 game against Liverpool, the Southampton and the Wolves games (19-20) all come to mind. It feels like Mikel doesn’t want to risk developing the youth players himself, he’d rather let other coaches do the work for him. Which is a bit odd for someone the club has deemed a “long-term project” manager. Also, have any teams actually submitted a bid for… Read more »

Fabulous

This is what I don’t agree with. Just because a player doesn’t fit a managers style, he has to go? Shouldn’t the manager get the best out of each of his players? Joe is probably the best option for box to box we have now, and as seen at Newcastle he’d thrive when being deployed properly. He didn’t just score loads, he scored against Spurs, Chelsea and United. No easy feat.

Replacing Arteta is much easier than losing a homegrown talent who clearly brings something to the table. Shouldn’t we have learnt something from Emi Martinez by now?

Teta's cult of personality

👍

A Different George

Sure, the manager should get the most out of each player. But what if changing style or formation to get the most from Joe Willock means that you can’t get the most from Saka or Smith Rowe, who play in an entirely different way? In the medum term, the solution is to recruit and buy players who fit the manager’s idea of how to play. And in the short term, that may require selling a good player because you can’t get the best from him.

Fabulous

The thing is Arteta only wants to play one way. That’s the issue. And this particular way has us 8th on the table. Even say we nail down this particular style, it’s basically a poor version of City, and I don’t think we’ll ever better them. Not in the foreseeable future.

I’m not saying to play only formations that fit Joe. But there are games when we should adopt a more counter attacking approach, as does Newcastle. Joe would very well fit those type of games.

Fabulous

Reading this again I’m just gonna have to agree to disagree. How do you even equate to having Joe on the pitch to Saka or ESR losing out? That’s just a very poor assumption at this point in time, no basis at all. Joe’s scoring and box to box abilities however, is clearly evident from his Newcastle stint.

SarcasmB0t

You mean that formation where Aubameyang usually plays right wing?

The way we were set up to play last year, we had a very hard time breaking teams down and scoring goals.

The manager seems to believe that what we need is a David Luiz replacement. I very much doubt it will turn us into a dynamic attacking team.

A bit of versatility could be needed and Willock provides that.

But if somebody offered us Iwobi money, I’d sell him in a heartbeat.

Sachin

I want someone to explain this. How does Joe doesn’t fit into our way of playing and why does his inclusion mean ESR and Saka suffer? As far as I can see Ramsey spent a lot of time doing fuckall but timing his runs like a ninja and knicking some vital goals. If Joe can’t add to the build up in the manner Mikel expects, he still can make an impact. Ramsey fed off Giroud to devastating effect, we don’t have a striker yet who can hold the ball for more than a second but where are the AMCs who… Read more »

karl

I think you’re right, but it would probably need to be a 433 formation for Joe to prosper. Someone made a good point (I listen to too many podcasts to recall who) that Arteta’s language between Smith Rowe and Willock were very different.

If the right offer comes, I fully expect that Willock will go.

Jules

he fuckin better …

Mcheza

All I have seen is

“…central midfielders scored a grand total of two Premier League goals last season.”

Is this a record in the EPL?

Teta's cult of personality

Another negative record under Arteta? Say it ain’t so…

On a serious note, I don’t think Arteta is directly responsible for our poor home form last season. A home match is pretty much the same as an away match without fans. If we had more goal-scoring midfielders in the squad who were allowed to roam into the box, maybe we wouldn’t have gone so long without a goal from open play

Sachin

I’m thinking Mikel will evolve this season. He’s seen where he’s getting with his preferred style. If it wasn’t for Odegaard and his verve I don’t know what would have been of this team last season. The seniors didn’t fit in at all.

Cultured Determination

I think willock n rowe can interchange between cm and am throughout the game, with partey anchoring things.

Man Manny

But Willock has to learn to stay on his feet while shooting.

Merlin’s Panini

Seemed to do pretty well with his shooting at Newcastle.

Sachin

Maybe a young upcoming player like him can lean on the able shoulders of supporters like you

Dennis Elbow

Willock n Rowe.
What does that sound like the name of…
Willock n Rowe buttered caramels.

Tony Modra

Ah yes, the “little groin issue”. An issue many of us have to deal with..

Adam Guillette

Seems like a bigger issue for his wife

Fatgooner

Depressing to look at the line-up for yesterday’s game and see so many unwanted players still hanging around. By now the likes of Willian and Kolasinac should have been long gone.

Like I’ve said before, I have absolutely no confidence in either Arteta or those above him to take the club forward in the coming years. I fully expect this to be the Spaniard’s last season in charge after we flop again. But the real culprits will be in America.

Remember that £250 million pound war chest? It’s sad at how far we’ve fallen.

Fezec

Yes we get it. You don’t like Arteta/Edu/the owners/life.

It’s the first preseason game. Take a day off.

Qwaliteee

Heh.

Once the season kicks off – and we fall flat on our faces yet again, because Kroenke hasn’t invested properly and Arteta remains as obsessed with passing backwards and sideways as ever – will you take a day off?

Fatgooner

Oh, I’m sorry! I’m sure the same losers who finished 8th last season will win the title next year.

Silly me!

Fezec

And so you should apologise.

ESR staying is nothing but good news yet you manage to shoehorn a moan about the line up for a preseason friendly and drip your post with irrelevant negativity.

Support the club how you want. Use this site how you want. But posting cliched, boring shit like you have here should be called out for what it is.

Fatgooner

When we lose at home to Burnley fans like you will be moaning. Now is the time to set up the season but we’re doing nothing.

Sachin

ESR staying is not good news – no. He should have signed up by now – he hasn’t and Villa have been flirted with is disturbing. This isn’t anything positive.

Smaller clubs have caught up and overtaken us in how we run things. Even in Wenger’s time we were outdated but we had some charisma in pre-season and someone who could be brave for all of us. Mikel and Edu offer none of that.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Why life? Do you know him personally? Did Arteta, Edu and owners deserve praise for us finishing outside european spots the first time in 25 years? Didn’t you notice Lampard (absolute Chelsea legend) was even doing better than Arteta and their owner still did something bold that made them finish top four and win another CL?

Sachin

While I won’t ever advocate Chelsea’s way of running through managers and players, the pressure is so intense on Edu and Mikel I’d imagine the odds are fully against them to finish this season.

A P

I understand, Fats. You have been hanging around the comment threads season after season even though you are unwanted.

Fatgooner

How dare you?!

I’m loved!!!!

Glory Hunter

The sad part is although you are pessimistic & miserable, unfortunately you’re always right in your assessment of our club.

Merlin's Panini

FG for manager, lol.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

No mention of Holding and Chambers whereabouts last night? It seems like every summer they’re rumoured to be sold but just when I think they are out, they pull them back in. Everyone is talking about Saliba but Right-Back is a mess that nobody really talks about. Rumours that Bellerin has handed in a transfer request, Chambers only has less than 12 months left on his contract so one would imagine a decision would be made this summer with him, Cedric gets into good attacking positions but seemingly not defensively at the level required to be the #1 choice, and… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

White is no right back

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We’re Arsenal – we’ll try anyone at full-back; Lauren, Eboue, Flamini, Sokratis, Mustafi, Saka, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka.

rhal

Chambers was actually a full-back when he was bought. Wenger was the one that made him both CB and DM.

A Different George

Yeah, that’s unheard of except at Arsenal. Bayern (and France) use Pavard, Spain won a World Cup with Sergio Ramos playing fullback, and a thousand others.

loose_cannon

I don’t understand this thinking that Willock’s stock could never be higher so this is the best time to sell him. It’s nonsense, clubs aren’t just going to forget what he did it at Newcastle if he has an average season with us.

More likely that, given his age and nationality, they’ll fancy their chances of getting more out of him, especially teams that play more direct, aggressive football.

Daveo

That’s just not how it works. Smart teams and agents exploit advantages and weaknesses in the market. If he is poorly used or is in bad form at arsenal, and barely plays naturally it weakens arsenal’s position. Teams will also state that it shows inconsistency to drive down prices.

Why do you think buying low and selling high is a thing? How many people right now are remembering the good form of AMN or Nketiah from two seasons ago? No, they’re remembering their mediocre form and lack of playing time. Recency bias matters.

A Different George

Whether you are right in general or not, you have to consider the exceptional circumstances that exist now. Game day revenues are probably down 95 percent, no one has money to splash (well, almost no one, but neither Manchester club is buying Willock, I don’t think).

loose_cannon

AMN and Nketiah haven’t achieved anything close to what Willock has in his short spell at Newcastle, they’ve never generated the demand, so that’s a pretty poor comparison. And Nketiah has one year left on his deal, which will obviously have a big effect on his price regardless of what he’s achieved in the past. I just don’t think people here are factoring the allure of a young, English attacking mid who clearly has the ability to score goals at prem level, regardless of what’s happening at Arsenal. I don’t see mid/bottom table clubs turning their nose up at that… Read more »

Sachin

Who do you buy with that cash from Joe? For that ball carrying goal scoring midfield spot.

Genuinely curious.

Mesut O’Neill

My wife always bemoans my “little groin issue”