I’m a big fan of Martin Odegaard and like every other supporter, I had hoped that Arsenal could secure his silky services on a permanent deal but then news broke via Cbssports that Real Madrid might be tempted into parting with the talented Norwegian if Emile Smith Rowe were included in the package.
Now, as much as I admire Martin Odegaard, I am very much against losing a homegrown player who hasn’t reached his prime, especially someone like Smith Rowe, who has shown such ability to adapt and integrate into the first team. His performances have been one of the highlights of an otherwise embarrassing and inconsistent season along with the likes of Saka and Tierney, so if the story is true, Arsenal need to send out a strong message to any potential suitors.
This is yet another example of Arsenal’s dithering whilst trying to resolve a contract extension. If Smith Rowe had been a different type of character, the Gunners might already be on the verge of losing him to Aston Villa and almost certainly to Real Madrid.
It’s fortunate that the youngster, once rejected by Chelsea, sees the club as his spiritual home, and his breakthrough this season, along with Bukayo Saka, has certainly helped strengthen that bond with Arsenal.
There is every chance that the likes of ESR, Saka, and Tierney will be the subject of continuous transfer speculation in the coming seasons unless Arsenal improve drastically under Mikel Arteta, but in the meantime, the club needs to quash any attempts to steal the nucleus of the rebuild which includes Smith Rowe.
Villa’s audacious offer of £25m was swiftly rejected by the club but now it appears that a bigger fish has entered the pond. I’m personally convinced that Smith Rowe has no intention of moving for a good few years unless Arsenal have other ideas.
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What makes him special? ESR is the type of player that only knows one direction, forward, and his runs with or without the ball make compulsive viewing. He works tirelessly throughout a game and can open up space for others to profit with his characteristic runs down win the flank.
If he can add ten goals a season to his game, Arsenal may have a very special talent in their hands and more importantly, someone in the David Rocastle mould who truly loves the club. At this rate, within three seasons he could be an influential force in the Arsenal side and a standout performer in the Premier League, assuming this story goes nowhere. If Real Madrid want to do a deal for Martin Odegaard, then it has to be minus Smith Rowe.
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