Smith Rowe: New contract was an easy decision

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Emile Smith Rowe says committing his future to Arsenal was “an easy decision” having spent a decade working his way through the ranks at the club.

Given a chance to shine on Boxing Day last year against Chelsea, the 20-year-old midfielder hasn’t looked back and has now been rewarded by Mikel Arteta with a new long-term contract and the coveted number 10 shirt.

While his progress in the last seven months has been eye-catching, the youngster is quick to point out that it hasn’t been plain-sailing since he grabbed the attention of Unai Emery in pre-season three years ago.

Two loan moves, coaching upheaval and a spate of injuries have tested his mettle but he’s now looking to kick on.

“I didn’t have to think about it too much,” said Smith Rowe when asked about signing his new long-term contract in an interview with Arsenal.com.

“I’ve been at the club since I was 10 years old. For me it was just about carrying on at this club, like I said, I’m really happy. It was an easy decision.

“It’s been a crazy journey. I’ve been here since I was 10-years-old and coming through the ranks with loads of teammates along the way. Finally, putting pen-to-paper on a long-term deal is something that I’ve been waiting to do.

“I feel like it’s been an up and down journey. There have been a lot of downs with injuries and so on and I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience, going out on loan and stuff.

“It’s definitely been a hard one, but I’m really happy to commit my future to Arsenal.

“I feel like I don’t really try to set myself any challenges going forward, I try to keep moving forward game by game and see how it goes. I don’t like to put too much pressure on myself, but I’m sure it’s going to be a big season for me and the team as well.”

Looking ahead to the new season, Smith Rowe admits that his aim is to score more goals.

“The manager always wants me to score more goals, I think that’s important for the position that I play in,” he said.

“So I just want to try and score and create more goals for the team, I think that will help us majorly, so that’s what I’m going to focus on in training as well.”

He’s also looking to take more responsibility on his shoulders. “Definitely, there is always going to be pressure, but of course, I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’m going to be ready for sure. I can’t wait to meet all the fans and stuff, it’s definitely a pressure I’m going to take on.

“Everyone knows the number 10 is a big shirt and a big position. I’m buzzing to be honest, I can’t wait to get on the pitch.”

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Jarghs

Pfft, like he was ever going to choose Villa over us (which I am finally confident enough to say).

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Reminds me of Wenger bidding for Mbappe 4 summers ago.

Teta's cult of personality

At least Wenger was respected at Monaco. Who the hell is Dean Smith to us?

Just a geezer still in the Premier League because of a technological glitch.

Martin R

There is a large difference. Mpabbe was a young player just starting his career and was looking for a permanent club and Wenger spoke to him and his father. He decided to join PSG but could easily have chosen Arsenal. ESR is an established player and wasn’t even for sale and there was no other club who could have signed him.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

My comment was rather tongue in cheek but when Monaco wanted to sell Mbappe, Arsenal had just finished 5th in the league, and cash rich and Champions League regulars PSG and Madrid both made official bids. So very unlikely he would have chosen Arsenal. Father and Son Mbappe may have met Arsene for a €350 Euro caviar and broccoli salad on a yacht in Monaco but most likely that was just pleasantries. Mbappe wasn’t just starting his career – he was in his second season with Monaco’s first team and just helped them win Ligue 1 and they got to… Read more »

ThreadRipper

Explaining his decision in 2018 to sign for PSG, he revealed: “I met with Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach. He has a great reputation here in France, he’s well-respected and knows how to develop young players. This was a real option for me. “I dream of being managed by Arsene Wenger. He is French, he’s had a great career and now he is free because he has left Arsenal. “We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs but my family told me it had to be my decision and one I needed to make. “It… Read more »

Oberon

Except we offered 125 million back then and not a derisory 25 million in today’s market. That’s less than Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll 10 years ago!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Ah we can only dream about Saka – Smith-Rowe – Mbappe playing behind Aubameyang!

IamaGoober

Genuinely this is brilliant news. He is such a top young player. I think the Premier League has been sleeping on how good he is. I just hope we can actually hold on to them. Because listen, there is not one chance in hell we are going to be able to see them sign new deals if we’re sniffing around tenth in the league.

Verdant

How about we entertain bids from Villa for ESR’s no. 10 jersey now

Arslet

A legend in the making. He will be one of the best players this club has ever had. No doubt at all.

Goonersince55

He really could be – makes me think of a player my Dad used to rave about, Alex James. Not the same baggy shorts, but how about two FA Cups and four league titles?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Loved him in Blur.

Qwaliteee

‘Wee Alec’, the flying Scotsman.

Sadly, there is no footage of him playing, but everyone who played alongside or witnessed as a spectator has remarked on his incredible pace and ability to go past players at will – Henry, Messi and Maradona spring to mind.

He must have been some player.

When you look at the records, Arsenal were getting fours, fives, sixes and sevens on a regular basis in the 30’s. Cliff ‘Boy’ Bastin and Ted Drake must have been an incredible players too.

John

Yes! Now, will and all those people at Aston Villa – especially John Terry – kindly get stuffed.

Havyn

Love him and Saka
And Villa, don’t know what was on their mind

It Is What It Is

They thought we were still high from smoking whatever was in circulation around Conley last summer, when they bagged Emi. We’re a changed club, fools.
Anyone going to the AJ fight in September…I hope you know what to do. Smearing, not necessary.

Merlin’s Panini

Apple juice fight? Sounds fun!

It Is What It Is

I wouldn’t drink it if I were you. Imagine obtaining entry into the brewery. That’ll piss on their parade. I

the Geoff

Just trying to take advantage of our desire to fund a transfer for Ramsdale

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Presumably Villa thought we might cash in on a young rising player to enable us to fund a star signing (Odegaard at that time before his ‘farewell’ message).

You can’t really blame Villa though – that is exactly what we did two summers ago when we sold Iwobi for around £35m to help fund the purchase of Pepe for around £70m. Villa likely saw a chance to somewhat replicate that.

thankyou22

Since that turd John Terry is there at Villa, god I hate them. After this summer’s shenanigans, hate them even more.

Congratulations ESR 🙂

Fezec

I’ve always had an irrational hatred of Villa. Horrible fans.

Now Terry is there it’s no longer irrational.

Teta's cult of personality

It’s only right that a club and their fans who call themselves the Villans be hated🙂.

I have a much stronger dislike for Birmingham City fans for obvious reasons. Still can’t believe Koscielny allowed Barry Ferguson to disrespect him like that. I’d have gladly taken a red 🟥 in retaliation. The match was already lost by then.

Fezec

I’ve always had an irrational hatred of Villa. Horrible fans.

Now Terry is there, it’s no longer irrational.

Twatsloch

Villa with Terry there are so bad it’s worth pointing out twice.

Perry Groves Tips

Good news. We need to retain out top young talent and bring in (younger/youngish) players as well. So far, on the evidence available, we seem to be doing both.

Perry Groves Tips

*our [it’s the heat.]

Bergytime

So happy with this news, love ESR, one of our own and absolute class with the ball at his feet! Really hoping the “Croydon de Bruyne” thing dies a death this season. I don’t know which commentator came up with it, but it makes me cringe every time.

Teta's cult of personality

I don’t think a commentator came up with it. They just hopped on the bandwagon of Arsenal nicknames for Emile in an attempt to be funny.

I do hope it’s dead and buried this season too.

Graeb

I’d be happy for it to continue if that’s what he became.

Hantal

Can someone explain to me what’s so good about Emile?
I get that he’s young with potential but his stats look a bit pants. What am I missing?

Graeb

Did you not get TV last season?

Fatgooner

Great day today, isn’t it? We tie down one of our best young players on the same day that Harry Kane announces that he’s jumping ship and heading for the Middleastlands.

I least we won’t have to worry about Spuds next season.

T.A.

True, but if reports are correct about a £160m fee, that will give them a formidable war-chest. On the other hand their away shirt has registered an all-time record in ugly. Looks like someone barfed on it.

Fatgooner

Top-quality strikers are thin on the ground right now, and not too many of them will want to go to a team like Spuds. Also Spuds have a massive stadium debt hanging over them. Some of the Kane money will be used to soak it up.

Goonerink

They spent their last warchests well too right?
modric, berbatov, Walker, bale and Erickson.

to the point where they tried to replace bale with bale last season and we’re heavily linked with a returning Erickson before his tragedy.

huge names are still going for big money, but before COVID levy would have gotten closer to £200m for Kane.

who are they going to buy?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

They won’t be able to replace Kane like-for-like, I suspect that they’ll buy two strikers to compensate. Wouldn’t be surprised if they go for Tammy Abraham as one of them.

Qwaliteee

They can have him. Bang average.

Graeb

Indeed, and look how they wasted Bale money last time they had a fat wad to spend.

TeeCee

I reckon they spunked their fat wad into their toilet.

SarcasmB0t

Wow, straightforwardly positive news with no caveats whatsoever.

I’ve forgotten how to react…

Yippee?