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Arsenal 'name' Emile Smith Rowe asking price as London rivals prepare bid

Price tag set: Arsenal 'lay out conditions' for Smith Rowe sale
© Reuters
Arsenal are reportedly after a fee of £30m to sell 23-year-old midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, whom Fulham are reportedly interested in signing this summer.

Arsenal have reportedly laid out their financial demands to let struggling attacker Emile Smith Rowe leave the club this summer.

As a graduate of Arsenal's Hale End system, the England international has always been held in high regard by Gooners, and he sent tongues wagging in the 2021-22 season with 10 Premier League goals.

However, it has been largely downhill for Smith Rowe ever since, as injuries and the form of Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard have seen him demoted to a bit-part role under Mikel Arteta.

The 23-year-old can also be deployed as a midfielder but has failed to displace Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice in such positions, making just 19 appearances last term and setting up two goals.

Only three of Smith Rowe's 13 outings in the Premier League came from the first whistle, while he was also afforded just 42 minutes in the Champions League in three substitute appearances.

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice during training in October 2023© Reuters

Arsenal 'to demand £30m' for Smith Rowe

The attacker has lost his place in the England setup as a result, although he was a member of the Under-21s' triumphant Euros troupe last summer, and his Arsenal contract has just two years left to run.

Arsenal turned down two bids from Aston Villa for Smith Rowe in the summer of 2021 before he penned his long-term contract extension, but he is expected to explore a move away this time around.

According to Football Insider, Arsenal are hopeful of obtaining at least £30m through the sale of Smith Rowe, who could therefore become the Gunners' second-most expensive departure of all time.

That honour is currently held by Smith Rowe's compatriot Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined Liverpool in a £35m deal in the summer of 2017, while Folarin Balogun left for Monaco for £25.7m last year.

Fulham are thought to be readying an offer for the former Huddersfield Town and RB Leipzig attacker, who is reportedly considered one of the "most sellable" assets in the Gunners' ranks.

Emile Smith Rowe in action for England Under-21s on March 28, 2023© Reuters

Smith Rowe has been on the Arsenal books since 2010 and has risen through the youth ranks to make 115 senior appearances for the club, scoring 18 goals and setting up 13 more.

The time is right for Smith Rowe to move on

Even before hitting his double-figure Premier League goal tally in 2021-22, Smith Rowe was credited with turning Arsenal's 2020-21 season around, when the word 'relegation' was previously being muttered unironically.

Fast-forward to 2024, though, and the Englishman cannot be relied upon to steer clear of injuries, and Arteta has also moved past the need for a player of his profile on the left wing.

Whoever plays at left-back for Arsenal must have strong inversion skills, while Rice excelled as a box-to-box midfielder last season, and a new winger is also being targeted.

All of those factors make Smith Rowe surplus to requirements in North London, and a transfer this summer is undoubtedly best for all parties, in spite of his fan favourite status.

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