Reaction to Villa’s Smith-Rowe bid
It has been a week since Aston Villa’s initial bid of £25 million for Arsenal’s young attacking midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe was rejected by The Gunners.
Reported by David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal have no intention of selling the 20-year-old and for good reason. Arsenal struggled at the beginning of the season and even went through a period in which they won just one game in 10 matches.
The integration of Emile Smith Rowe into Mikel Arteta’s team saw a turnaround in form immediately. The England youth international playing a pivotal role in the Boxing Day 3-1 victory over Chelsea.
🚨 Exclusive: Arsenal reject bid of around £25m from Aston Villa for midfielder Emile Smith Rowe. #AFC working to renew 20yo’s contract — which ends in 2023 — & have no interest in selling. #AVFC pursuit underlines their ambition this summer @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/sPsrVzOVw4
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 16, 2021
Smith-Rowe quickly became a very popular member of the squad and is rated exceptionally highly by those in the Arsenal fan base.
When reported by Ornstein that Aston Villa had made a bid, much of the reaction to his tweet was one of humour.
“Who do they think they are?” wrote one account.
“Who gassed this small club?” read another. And these continued into their hundreds. Of the over 1200 responses to Ornstein’s tweet, a theme was developing and it seems the consensus was very much one of jovial disbelief at Villa’s audacity to bid.
Sure, the £25 million is certainly well below a figure that might make more sense.
However, Smith-Rowe’s current contract situation ongoing, Arsenal searching for a big-money signing in his position, a recent history of young players being mishandled, such as Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba, and all in combination with Arsenal’s need to sell before they buy this summer. Suddenly it doesn’t appear as farfetched.
What’s worse, Aston Villa are not done. Reports suggest that they are aiming to return with yet another offer and want to see Smith-Rowe fill the final piece to their attacking line containing Ollie Watkins, Jack Grealish and, a once Arsenal target, Emi Buendia.
Latest transfer notebook
Aston Villa back in for Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe – @JPercyTelegraph
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) June 22, 2021
Nothing to laugh about
The fact of the matter is that whilst Arsenal fans may laugh, the possibility of seeing a key asset of the Gunners moving to a club such as Villa isn’t as much of a shock as it would have once been.
Arsenal have finished 8th in their last two seasons and the last campaign saw Villa do the double over the Gunners.
Arsenal sold Argentina international goalkeeper Emi Martinez to the Birmingham-based side and he became, who some might argue was, the best stopper in the league last year.
Villa, under new ownership, have gone from relegation survivors to European qualification chasers and Arsenal are in their crosshairs.
Whilst the other members of the so-called ‘big 6’ have progressed in the last 10 years, Arsenal have spent plenty and yet gone backwards. Despite some great days at Wembley winning some FA Cups, take nothing away from them, ultimately their standing has gone down.
Reported interest in Sevilla defender Jules Koundé by the Athletic evidence of their slip. Once a club known for attracting the top French talent, now seen as second fiddle to the likes of current European Champions Chelsea – a much more attractive destination in 2021.
This bringing us back full circle to Arsenal, Villa and Emile Smith-Rowe. Yes, Arsenal may laugh off Dean Smith’s attempts to take one of their prized assets, but simply the existence of such a move is further indication of the club’s plight and the desperate need to ensure this season turns the perception of what Arsenal football club is and most importantly… what it will be.
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