Aston Villa are reportedly ‘planning to back’ Unai Emery this summer as a reward for the ex-Arsenal boss ‘masterminding their amazing rise’.
The former Gunners head coach has done a remarkable job since he replaced Steven Gerrard at Villa Park earlier this season.
They were at risk of being in a relegation battle when he took over but he has overseen their stunning rose up the Premier League table.
Under him, they have lost just six of their last 20 games across all competitions. This form has seen them climb up to sixth and they are now in with a chance of qualifying for Europe.
TalkSPORT are reporting that the Premier League outfit ‘plan to back Emery in the summer transfer window’.
Arsenal ‘forgotten man’ Emile Smith Rowe is one player they are ‘back on the trail of’. Emery is said to be eyeing a ‘swoop’ for his former player.
The report notes that Aston Villa failed to sign Smith Rowe in 2021 despite lodging a bid of around £30m for the Englishman.
Smith Rowe went on to enjoy a brilliant season for the Gunners last term as he netted ten goals in the Premier League. He has been severely hampered by injuries this term as he has not started a single game in the league.
Arsenal will look to move seven points clear at the top of the table when they face Southampton on Friday night. Speaking ahead of this game, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Smith Rowe is “pushing” for a start.
“He’s pushing, and in football what you did a year ago, a month ago is not important, 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 has to make us better and to make us win games. He’s very close.”
Speaking before Arsenal exited the Europa League, ex-Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor claimed Smith Rowe must “prove he is good enough” to remain at the Premier League leaders.
“I think it is really difficult,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“If you have got this far you have to really go for it in the Europa League.
“You set up a squad of players at the start of the season to use and if they are not good enough they should not be at Arsenal. The likes of [Fabio] Vieira, Smith Rowe have got to come in and prove that they are good enough to be part of the setup.
“If Arteta had his way he would love to rest his players and have them play the remaining Premier League games and not any other competition. But, if you come this far in the Europa League you want to win it.“