Arsenal have finally announced a new contract for Emile Smith Rowe which will see his wages increase significantly.
There’s no denying that Emile Smith Rowe was one of Arsenal’s saviours in the season just gone.
Without the youngster in the side, Arsenal were awful, evidenced clearly when we tanked our FA Cup game against Southampton.
Last season, Arsenal handed new, improved contracts to both Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, tripling their wages from £10kpw to £30k and it seems, in addition to judging players on their talent, the club has an age-based hierarchy to some degree, as well.
Both Martinelli and Saka are 19 and it is expected that the older Smith Rowe will see his wages go up to £40kpw, doubling his £1.04m-a-year salary.
Smith Rowe has also been rewarded with the number 10 shirt, a move we’ve been reporting was due to happen since the start of the year.
Martin Odegaard took the 11 shirt at Arsenal in January because he wanted a number he could keep should he sign for the club in the summer with the 10 expected to go to Smith Rowe.
“Everyone knows that No 10 is a big shirt and it is definitely a big position as well. So I’m buzzing to be honest, I can’t wait to get on the pitch,” Smith Rowe told Arsenal.com.
“It’s really special – I can’t explain the feeling when I found out. I’ve not really got the words to explain it right now! But yeah, I’m really happy.
“The legends that have played here and have worn the shirt… it’s a bit too much right now but I’m sure I will calm down after a while!
“When I was younger I used to watch Dennis Bergkamp, and when I was going through the academy Mesut Ozil was here as well and getting the opportunity to train with him and play with him as well was unbelievable. I just want to keep working hard and hopefully I can play like them and replicate what they’ve done.”
Smith Rowe’s new deal will tie him to the club for the next five years.
Technical director Edu said: “This is another important step forward for us and we’re all delighted that Emile has signed a new long-term contract. It’s great to see another young player develop through our academy system to become a key part of our first team. Emile is a player who represents the future of the club and this is why we have given him the No 10 shirt. We have trust in Emile and we know he has the potential to be a beautiful player for many years to come.”
Mikel Arteta said: “As we all saw last season, Emile is an intelligent player with excellent ability. His sharpness on the turn and exceptional vision have already made him a key player for us. His attitude and willingness to learn have also been very impressive. Huge credit to our team in our academy who have given Emile a great education and have worked superbly to help with his development through the age groups.
“Along with the first-team staff, huge credit also goes to our senior players, who have played such an important role to help Emile develop, gain confidence and perform the way he did last season. I know the fans will join us in being delighted that Emile has committed his future to the club. We’re now looking forward to helping him develop further and seeing him become even more important to the strong young team we’re building.”
Emile Smith Rowe spoke about his love for Arsenal after he came on against Newcastle and turned the game.
Coming on as a second-half substitute, Emile Smith Rowe immediately changed the game.
Although it look like his involvement would be brief when he was shown a red card, thankfully VAR and the referee saw sense and rescinded it.
Smith Rowe then went on to open the scoring for Arsenal with a lovely finish and ended the game as one of the highest rated players.
After the game, Smith Rowe spoke to the BBC.
“Like you said, the incident before wasn’t ideal [with the red card], definitely wasn’t intentional. I’m happy to get the goal and happy to go through to the next round.
“It’s great, from a young kid I’ve always wanted to play for this club. All the young players, it’s good for us to get opportunities so I’m really happy to be playing for this club.”
He was also named BBC’s Man of the Match.
You can watch the full interview in the video below, the above quotes are only a selection, he had more to say: