- Emil Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal
- Attacking the 20-year-old midfielder was a target for Aston Villa earlier this summer
- But after two bids for £25m and £30m were rejected, Smith Rowe has committed
- He will be given the Arsenal No. 10 shirt to be worn by Mesut Ozil by January
- Transfer News Live: Follow all the latest deals, rumors and talks
Emil Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term Arsenal deal until 2026 – and has been confirmed as his new No.
Smith Rowe, a target for Aston Villa this summer, has committed his future to Arsenal and will also inherit the coveted shirt that has been vacated since the departure of Mesut Ozil in January.
Attacking midfielder Smith Rowe’s previous deal was set to expire in 2023 and Villa were keen to woo him, making two bids of £25m and £30m.
But Arsenal have managed to convince him of the remnants of his long-term future at the Emirates and extend his stay.
Emil Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term contract to build his future for Arsenal
The attacking midfielder puts pen to paper on his new contract after deciding to stay
The attacking midfielder was linked to Aston Villa but has decided to stay at the Emirates
Smith Rowe, who made his debut in 2018, established himself in Arsenal’s first team during a breakout campaign for the 20-year-old last season.
His increased involvement came to an end as Arsenal’s winter slump and he finished the season with four goals and eight assists in 33 appearances and also one of their most influential players.
sportsmail It was revealed in January that Smith Rowe was being drawn to a new deal before the start of next season.
Manager Mikel Arteta said: ‘As we all saw last season, Emil is an intelligent player with outstanding potential.
Smith Rowe has been given the Arsenal number 10 shirt worn by Mesut Ozil until last January
The player poses with manager Mikel Arteta (left) and director of football Edu (right)
‘His sharp and exceptional vision at the turn has already made him a key player for us. His attitude and willingness to learn has also been very impressive.
‘Great credit to our team at our academy who have given Emil a great education and a great job helping him grow through the age groups.
“Along with the first team staff, huge credit also goes to our senior players who have played such an important role in helping Emil develop, gain confidence and perform the way he did last season. I know fans will join us in rejoicing that Emil has committed his future to the club.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praises Smith Rowe as ‘an intelligent player with outstanding potential’
‘We are now looking forward to helping him develop further and see him become even more important to the strong young team we are building.’
Also the new contract, handing Smith Rowe the shirt previously worn by Jack Wilshere, Robin van Persie and Dennis Bergkamp, is another show of confidence from Arsenal.
Arsenal technical director Edu said: ‘This is another important step for us and we are all delighted that Emil has signed a new long-term contract. It’s great to see another young player grow through our academy system to become an important part of our first team.
“Emil is a player who represents the future of the club and that is why we have given him the number 10 shirt. We have faith in Emil and we know he has the potential to be a beautiful player for many years to come.