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Unai Emery wants to reunite with Arsenal star at Aston Villa

Unai Emery wants to bring an Arsenal star who is struggling for minutes to Aston Villa.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Aston Villa continues to express interest in Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, despite a bid being rejected by Arsenal two years ago. According to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook, who offered his insights on the potential deal at Villa Park, Villa remains keen on the England international and may come forward with a renewed bid.

Emery, who has experienced a successful first half of the season with Villa, aims to secure at least Champions League qualification for the 2024/25 campaign. Despite their commendable form in the Premier League, Villa recognises the need to bolster squad depth, especially with their Europa Conference League campaign set to resume in March.

Aston Villa’s previous attempt to secure Smith Rowe dates back almost three years, following their 11th-placed finish in the 2020/21 Premier League season. The Villans made a £25 million offer for the attacking midfielder in July 2021, but Arsenal turned it down. Smith Rowe subsequently signed a new long-term contract, originally set to expire in the summer of 2023.

Emile Smith Rowe has struggled for game time at Arsenal and is a target for Aston Villa (Image credit: Getty Images)

In recent seasons, Smith Rowe has found himself on the sidelines for Premier League fixtures, playing a reserve role in Arteta’s side. The competition for positions, with players like Martinelli, Saka, Rice, Odegaard, and Havertz securing regular spots, has limited Smith Rowe’s playing time. Reports in October 2023 suggested that West Ham United had shown interest in the player, valued at £60 million by Arsenal.

READ MORE: Arsenal now tracking Premier League centre back who’s been AMAZING this season.

While Smith Rowe is under contract until the summer of 2026, the player may feel that his career is at risk of stalling. Arsenal, recognising the need to capitalise on his high market value, may consider selling him. 

CaughtOffside reports that Arsenal are open to selling Smith Rowe to Villa, who remain interested in his services. Transfer insider Dean Jones has suggested that the 2024 winter window presents an “ideal moment” for Villa to secure Smith Rowe’s signature.

Alex Crook, providing insights into Arsenal’s transfer strategy, indicated that the club might need to offload some players to make room for reinforcements. Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are mentioned as potential departures. Crook highlighted Arsenal’s interest in Villa’s midfielder Douglas Luiz but acknowledged that Villa are reluctant to let him go as they compete for a top-four position in the league. 

“Arsenal might have to move a couple of players out to get players in,” Crook told GIVEMESPORT

“There’s interest in Mohamed Elneny from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and they’d cash in on Thomas Partey if they could, given his injury record and the fact he’s on good wages. 

“I’m keen to see what they do with Smith Rowe because I think Aston Villa’s interest is still there. We know that Arsenal like Douglas Luiz, but Villa aren’t going to let him go at this moment in time because they’re competing for the top four themselves.”

The coming weeks will reveal whether the ongoing transfer saga involving Smith Rowe and Villa will reach a definitive conclusion.

NEXT ARTICLE: Arsenal bracing themselves for £40million offer for star player.

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