Mikel Arteta says Aston Villa were well within their rights to make an offer for Emile Smith Rowe last summer but at no point was he concerned that Arsenal might lose the midfielder.
Having accepted a £100 million bid for Jack Grealish from Manchester City, the Villans were quick out of the traps looking for replacements. They started by pipping Arsenal to Norwich midfielder Emi Buendia and then trained their sights on one of the Gunners’ own.
Two bids for Smith Rowe, the second around the £30 million mark, were rejected out of hand by Edu and Arteta before the England under-21 put pen-to-paper on a new long-term contract which included inheriting the club’s number 10 shirt.
Aston Villa went on to sign Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen for £28 million and also recruited Danny Ings from Southampton for £26 million.
Ahead of Villa’s visit to N5, Arteta was asked how summer talks between the two clubs played out.
“Any club has the right to make an enquiry about a player,” said Arteta. “If they believed they had the financial power to get him, they are entitled to do that.
“There was that communication between the club, we made it really clear that Emile wasn’t for sale. That’s it.
He added: “No [I wasn’t concerned]. He [Emile] is a big part of what we’re trying to do and our future. He’s really happy where he is and I’m delighted to have him in the team.”
Put to him that Arsenal’s best players used to be a target for Europe’s biggest clubs rather than recently promoted domestic sides, Arteta said Villa’s behaviour was a sign of their ambition.
“It’s about the vision of the club and the ambition that they are showing. They are showing the right ambition and they want to take the club to a different level.”
Arteta also stressed that he’s very happy that former charge Emi Martinez has impressed for Villa since joining their project over a year ago. Having become a fixture in Argentina’s national team, it has repeatedly been suggested that the Gunners made a bad decision letting the goalkeeper leave.
“We made decisions with the best possible intentions and looking for the best interests of the club,” said Arteta.
“As well it was a very strong participant, it was Emi, who deserves all the credit for the amount of time he spent at the club and don’t forget that he had different spells in his career and he got to a point in his career when under me he started to play in important games and he did extremely well.
“His ambition, his belief and where he wants to take his career was very different and it was urgent for him because he was so patient for so long and I’m really happy that he’s doing so well.
“He’s a great keeper, I played with him, I managed him, and he has tremendous personality as well and he’s showing that at Aston Villa and the national team. I can say that I’m happy for him.”
One of my good mates is a Villa season ticket holder. And I’ll just say this. These fuckers need taking down a peg or two. He’s been all over my WhatsApp for the last 12 months, being a cheeky little shit. Smug as well, like they’ve actually achieved anything.
These little fish need eating.
Aren’t we almost level in the table? And with a worse goal differential? Humility required.
I’ll remind you what I often remind him.
Their last trophy was the intertoto cup in 2001.
Little fish get eaten by bigger fish. Looking into one of those crazy amusement park mirrors might provide the illusion of being a bigger fish but the league table provides another view. Another season like the last is another step towards becoming a little fish. The league is getting more competitive. We’re fighting for the last champions league spot at best these days (that’s a general comment – no chance of that happening this season) and Newcastle will likely snuff that ambition out soon enough. ‘Lesser’ clubs are better run these days. We’re entitled to nothing.
Man if this is how you feel after 6 unbeaten, woof.
This sounds like something Marlon Brando would say at the end of Apocalypse Now.
Make no mistake, we are a big fish. It’s true, we haven’t grown much in recent years while some others fishes have rapidly bloated due to some irregular feeding, but we are still a very big fish (definitely in the top 5 largest in this pond, and probably in the top 12 in all the oceans of the world). Villa, on the other hand, is a piddly little tetra with a couple of new flashy neon lights… but they’re still a small fish.
Never mind about them.
We, on the other hand, need taking up a peg or two….
If you have been relegated to the championship and come up and find yourself fighting the mighty Arsenal for position then that would be a massive achievement.
If we somehow got back to the champions league (haha) and we started challenging Bayern for top spot in the group I’d be over the moon. I wouldn’t care who reminds me we haven’t won it etc. Sadly Villa aren’t challenging us for top 4
The only impression i have bout villa was many many yeara ago when they led the table for quite a lot of the season then tailed off. Anyone else remembers that season?think in the 2000s.
I remember very well when Villa became European champions. We were in decline then too. ‘Bout time we wore that star..
Drake 7 Woodcock 5
Never fear my Gooner friends. We’ll be lifting all the trophies when this little gem becomes an adult:
That’s kinda sick… and not like sick in a good way.
The boy is a genius.
Can someone please update Arteta about the rules? We’re not allowed to talk about Martinez?! Come on Mikel, get over it man!
They can pursue Arteta…he is available
More deadwood we can’t move on…
Not only will other clubs come after the better players (smelling blood) but Arsenal will also be less likely to afford players if yet again outside Europe. Add on massive spent with poor sales by Edu means they have kicked the can down the road and there will be a day of reckoning. Some people keep saying get rid of unwanted players of say Xhaka but truth is we will be selling some of our gems (what few we have) if we under perform again Frankly as I mentioned many times, I’d get rid of Edu. Either bring in Campos… Read more »
He’s good at the talking if only he could send out his team to play football as well . We need to win this one or we’re heading for mid table mediocrity again this season.
He does send out his team to play football…for like 10, maybe 15 minutes…or at least for how long it takes to score the first goal…