‘Buzzing’ Smith Rowe pens Arsenal deal
20-year-old midfield ace is handed Gunners' No10 shirt
23 July, 2021 — By Steve Barnett
EMILE Smith Rowe admitted he was lost for words after being handed the famous number 10 shirt at Arsenal.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who came through the Gunners’ youth academy, finally committed his future to the club by signing a new long-term contract yesterday (Thursday).
And as if that wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, he was also given one of the most iconic digits in world football.
“Everyone knows that number 10 is a big shirt and it is definitely a big position as well,” Smith Rowe told Arsenal’s official website.
“I’m buzzing, to be honest, I can’t wait to get on the pitch.
“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 enjoyed a breakthrough season last term, scoring four goals and providing seven assists in 33 appearances in all competitions.
It made him hot property, and the Gunners actually turned down not one, but two offers from Aston Villa, with the second believed to have been in the region of £30million.
But Villa were simply wasting their time, with Smith Rowe insisting that he was always going to stay at Arsenal.
“It was an easy decision for me to stay here,” he added. “I’ve been here since I was 10 years old. So finally putting pen-to-paper on a long-term deal is something that I’ve been waiting to do.
“I feel like it’s definitely been an up and down journey, there have been a lot of downs with injuries and so on, and I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience, going out on loan and stuff.
“I’m really happy to commit my future to Arsenal.”
And Smith Rowe’s new deal, thought to be a five-year contract, came with some demands from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.
“The manager always wants me to score more goals, I think that’s important for the position that I play in,” he revealed. “So I just want to try and score and create more goals for the team, I think that will help us majorly, so that’s what I’m going to focus on in training as well.”