RB Leipzig Managing Director Oliver Mintzlaff has admitted the club scouted Emile Smith Rowe for a long time, and they wanted to bring him in on a permanent deal.
Arsenal’s 18-year-old midfielder completed a deadline day move to RB Leipzig this week, signing on loan until the end of the season. Initially, there were some rumours that the Bundesliga club tried to put an option to buy in the deal, but these reports were quickly refuted by multiple sources.
Nonetheless, Oliver Mintzlaff has confirmed his club would definitely have wanted to sign the youngster permanently, if possible.
“We have a clear philosophy, we want to go long term with young and talented people,” Mintzlaff said (via Sport.de). “Emile has been scouted for a long time and we would certainly like to have bought him, but that was out of the question right now.”
With three goals in six competitive matches for the Arsenal first team, supporters will hope a permanent move is never on the cards for Smith Rowe. It’s good to hear academy players are so highly rated around Europe though, as it confirms the club are really onto something special with the current group.
Leipzig’s first game after the January window came too soon for Smith Rowe, who is only just returning from injury and probably lacks a bit of match sharpness. However, the club have a DFB Cup game against Wolfsburg on Wednesday, which could be a good opportunity for his debut.
After Reiss Nelson’s success so far in Germany, let’s hope Smith Rowe has a similarly impressive few months.