Unai Emery has reportedly vetoed any Emile Smith Rowe plans to leave the club on loan this season, as the head coach wants to keep the 18-year-old around.
After Smith Rowe impressed in pre-season and signed a new long-term deal to stay at Arsenal, there was some interest from outside in loaning the youngster for the season. The Daily Mail write that the midfielder had options in the Championship and abroad, but Emery ruled out the possibility last week, telling the transfer team to ignore any offers.
The Arsenal head coach is reportedly planning to give Smith Rowe opportunities on the pitch in the Europa League and the cup competitions this season. After the League Cup draw revealed the Gunners will face Brentford at the Emirates in the next round, it looks like Emery has an early opportunity to do so.
Last year’s extended League Cup run and Europa League participation gave valuable chances to Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah, among many others. Hopefully this season will be the same, as a number of talented youngsters in the academy try to make the step up to senior football.
As for Smith Rowe specifically, he showed his undoubted quality against Boreham Wood, PSG and Atletico Madrid, and a tough Chelsea game will hopefully have worked as a learning experience as well. Let’s hope for a big season for him.