Arsenal outcast ‘expected to leave’ for ‘around £25m’ with Arteta tipped to avoid West Ham star

Jason Soutar
West Ham winger Mohammed Kudus with the Arsenal badge
Mohammed Kudus with the Arsenal badge

Arsenal want ‘around £25million’ for Emile Smith Rowe with London rivals Fulham interested in signing him this summer, according to reports.

Smith Rowe has only started three Premier League matches in the last two seasons, dramatically falling down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta after a superb 2021/22 campaign.

The England midfielder scored 10 goals and made two assists in 33 top-flight appearances in 21/22, with his last goal in the competition coming against Chelsea in April 2022.

He also earned his first senior international cap in November 2021 but has not played for his country since a 28-minute cameo in a friendly against Ivory Coast the following March.

With minutes very hard to come by at Arsenal, there has been a lot of talk surrounding Smith Rowe’s future.

Fulham keen on signing £25m Arsenal outcast

It was reported last week that the 23-year-old is Fulham’s ‘priority’ target in the summer transfer window and Gunners transfer expert Charles Watts reckons he will cost ‘around £25m’.

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, Watts admitted that Smith Rowe is ‘expected’ to leave the Londoners this summer and ‘there is plenty of interest in him, both from clubs in the Premier League and abroad’.

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Explaining why a move to Craven Cottage makes sense, Watts said:

‘Emile Smith Rowe’s future is going to be one of the ongoing stories of the summer at Arsenal. I do expect him to go and I know there is plenty of interest in him, both from clubs in the Premier League and abroad.

His preference, if he does leave Arsenal, is to stay in England and the links to Fulham are certainly interesting. It would tick a lot of boxes for him. It’s a London club, they look to play decent football under Marco Silva and he already knows some players in the squad, such as former Gunners stars Alex Iwobi, Bernd Leno and Willian.

The key thing for Smith Rowe, if he does leave, is that he wants some stability and he wants to start playing regularly again. He’s had three Premier League starts in the last two seasons. For a player of his quality and age, that is simply not enough. The timing just feels right for a move.

I think Arsenal should be looking for at least £25m for him. I know he’s had his injury issues, but he’s young, homegrown and has shown he has the quality to make a big difference in the Premier League. Arsenal need to start showing they can get good value for their players and I think anything under £25m for Smith Rowe would be disappointing business.’

Arsenal move for Kudus unlikely – Watts

Meanwhile, Watts says Arsenal are unlikely to pursue West Ham winger Mohammed Kudus after being unable to afford his signing from Ajax last summer.

He said:

‘Mohammed Kudus is another name that can join the quite lengthy ‘ones that got away’ list at Arsenal.

He was a player they liked while he was at Ajax and they were well aware of his availability last summer. But they just did not have the financial capability to make it happen.

They did some big business obviously, bringing in the likes of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz for big transfer fees and they were unable to bring much money in by selling some of the players they had earmarked for potential permanent exits. So they just didn’t have the financial wriggle room to do any more significant business in the market.

Signing cover for the wide areas has long been on the agenda, we’ve seen that with the interest in Raphinha and Pedro Neto in the past, and Kudus was another player on that list. But they couldn’t stretch their budget, so their interest never really got off the ground.

I don’t know if that interest still remains. Given the way he has performed since moving to West Ham since moving there, his price tag would be huge and I would be surprised if Arsenal were able to go near that given what they are looking to do with other areas of their squad.’

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