Emile Smith Rowe says it was one of the easiest decisions he’s ever made to sign a new contract with Arsenal, and he hopes to stay ‘forever’.

Emile Smith Rowe in a pre-season friendly with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Emile Smith Rowe in a pre-season friendly with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

There was some uncertainty around Emile Smith Rowe over the summer, as he reached the final two years of his contract. Arsenal received bids from Aston Villa to add further complexity to the situation, but the 21-year-old ended up extending his deal.

Speaking to the Evening Standard this week, Smith Rowe admitted he would like to be a one-club man at Arsenal.

“I hope so, I definitely hope so,” Smith Rowe said. “If Arsenal want me for the rest of my career, then I am going to stay here forever. It is always difficult [to stay at one club for your career], but for me personally I’d love to be here forever.”

As for signing a contract extension amid the interest from Villa, Smith Rowe says it was a look simpler than it might have looked.

“For me it was easy [to sign a new contract with Arsenal],” Smith Rowe added. “Obviously it didn’t look like that from the outside, it looked quite difficult.

“For me, playing for Arsenal, growing up an Arsenal fan and my family around me, it was easy. Growing up in London, I didn’t want to move out of London. It was probably one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.”

Aston Villa made two bids for Arsenal’s number 10, one of £25m and one of £30m. The Telegraph report that the Arsenal hierarchy were surprised by the first bid, and baffled by the second.

The Gunners laughed both bids off, swiftly rejecting them and making it clear Smith Rowe would not be available at any price. Not long after that, the 21-year-old had his new deal with Arsenal, extending to 2026.

Smith Rowe has since proven a key part of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side. He’s appeared in every Premier League game this season, starting seven of the eight, and he also made an appearance and scored in the League Cup third round.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.