Journalist Chris Wheatley has confirmed that Emile Smith Rowe is “disappointed” and the Arsenal attacker is “wanted” by Aston Villa.
The Englishman was one of Arsenal’s standout performers last season. This came as he grabbed ten goals and two assists in 33 Premier League appearances.
The Gunners have enjoyed a remarkable campaign in 2022/23 as they have been mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
But Smith Rowe missed the first half of the season after suffering a groin injury and he has barely featured for Arsenal since returning to full fitness.
The 22-year-old is yet to start in the league this season and he has only managed to play 12 times across all competitions.
His lack of appearances have fuelled talk that he could leave Arsenal this summer. He previously worked with Unai Emery at the Emirates and the Aston Villa head coach is reportedly planning to sign him.
This has now been backed up by Wheatley. The journalist thinks Smith Rowe “would certainly a consider” a move to Aston Villa.
“There’s absolutely truth in that. Unai Emery’s a big admirer of Emile Smith Rowe. Don’t forget, he was the manager who gave him his opportunity in the Arsenal first-team when he took over at head coach,” he said via The Chris Wheatley Show.
“I know he’s disappointed with his lack of first-team opportunities. Whether or not he looks for a move away from the club is another story altogether. He’s a quality player, he offers a lot.
“And I think in games like that match against Southampton, I think Emile Smith Rowe could have offered something different to someone like Fabio Vieira.
“So yeah, Smith Rowe is wanted by Aston Villa. I think it’s a move that he would certainly consider because it’s a chance to rejuvenate his career.
“I think Villa might be a really good opportunity for him with a really, really good coach in Unai Emery, who he knows well. So let’s wait and see on that one. But it’s definitely one to watch this summer.”
Mikel Arteta recently claimed that Smith Rowe is “pushing” to be in contention to feature for Arsenal before the end of the season.
“He’s pushing, and in football what you did a year ago, a month ago is not important,” Arteta said earlier this month.
“It’s about what you do now, what you do yesterday and what you do tomorrow. The player has to have that mindset and the contribution has to be now to the team, it has to make us better and to make us win games. He’s very close.”