According to reports, Arsenal have turned down a second bid from Aston Villa for 20-year old Emile Smith Rowe. The bid is believed to be in the region of £30M.
Arsenal were first approached with an offer of £25M for the England-U21 playmaker earlier this month, which they promptly rebuffed before Aston Villa returned proposing a second bid.
Smith-Rowe, who made 34 appearances in all competitions last term, enjoyed a real breakthrough season and is regarded among the most promising players at the Emirates Stadium. In that time, he contributed to eleven goals and played a key part in their run to the Europa League semi finals, where they lost out to eventual winners Villareal.
The Gunners have no intention of selling the youngster and it is understood that negotiations surrounding a renewed contract are underway. As it stands, Smith-Rowe has two years left on his current deal, having penned a five-year contract back in July of 2018.
In what appears to be a transitional phase in the red side of North London, Smith-Rowe looks to be one of the players that Arsenal will build their team around- alongside fellow Hale End academy graduate Bukayo Saka, who starred for England in their victory over the Czech Republic and Germany.
However, Aston Villa have been on a major recruitment drive so far and are displaying ambition that serves as a real statement of intent. They beat off Arsenal to the signature of Argentine winger Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City, agreeing a £33M for the 24-year old.
Following a major drop-off in form towards the end of last season in the absence of skipper Jack Grealish through injury, the Villains are keen to ease the creative burden on their star player and ensure that they have a range of players able of fulfilling his role.
Therefore, it is unsurprising that Smith-Rowe has been identified; the Villa target joined Arsenal at the age of 10 and rose through the ranks, undergoing loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town before instating himself in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI and impressing in various positions.
Predominantly an attacking midfielder, Smith-Rowe has also spent time on the left wing and can open up defences with his trickery and inventiveness in the final third. It remains to be seen if Villa will continue their interest after seeing a second offer turned down.
If you liked this Premier League article, check out my twitter for much more @Jackpricey_!
Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter @FootballOTH and @OTHeroics for all your sporting needs! Come discuss this and much!
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images