Emile Smith Rowe not tempted by Aston Villa move

Aston Villa have been forced to move on from Emile Smith Rowe after his contract extension was announced but it seems he was never interested in signing for them anyway.

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Arsenal s Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday May 9, 2021. Copyright: Frank Augstein
Emirates Stadium Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring their side’s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday, May 9, 2021. Copyright: Frank Augstein

The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Aston Villa were lining up a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey, as they search for a wide attacker this window. Now we know that was because Arsenal were about to announce Emile Smith Row had agreed a new deal with the club.

The Mail wrote that Villa made two bids for Smith Rowe in a “bold move that signalled their intent”, despite the fact that both bids were laughed off as being way too small and Mikel Arteta completely ruled out a departure.

Speaking after his new deal was announced, Smith Rowe was clear – it was only ever about Arsenal. Back in 2020, Smith Rowe said, “My dream is to become a legend here, I can see myself being a one-club man if everything works out,” and he was asked if he still meant it.

“Yeah, 100 per cent,” Smith Rowe told Arsenal.com. “I said that in an interview and I mean it definitely. I can’t wait to carry on playing for this wonderful club and we’ll see what happens.

“[Signing my new contract] means so much to me. I’ve been waiting for it, and to carry on playing for this club, it means so much to me and I’m so happy.

“I feel like I didn’t really have to think about it too much you know. I’ve been at the club since I was 10 years old, so for me it was just about carrying on at this club, so like I said, I’m really happy.”

There were claims that Aston Villa were preparing a third bid for Smith Rowe after their offers of £25m and £30m were turned down by the Gunners, but they never had a chance to begin with.