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Fulham make Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe a transfer priority this summer

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe/Fulham make Emile Smith Rowe a transfer priority this summer
Emile Smith Rowe came through Arsenal's academy - Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

Fulham have made Emile Smith Rowe one of their summer transfer priorities and are ready to bid for the Arsenal midfielder early in the window.

Marco Silva will look to bolster his attacking options with Willian’s looking at Bosman offers from Saudi Arabia, while Bobby De Cordova-Reid is also out of contract but has been given an offer to stay.

Smith Rowe, 23, is high on their recruitment agenda to build on their mid-table finishes since promotion back to the top-flight. The England international was limited to Premier League starts last season during Arsenal’s title challenge, with 10 appearances off the bench.

He also suffered knee and ankle injuries during the campaign, with Mikel Arteta’s team settled when he returned.

Arsenal will listen to offers for a raft of fringe players this summer, which will influence their own spending power in the market. Smith Rowe joins the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Eddie Nketiah as players who could look for regular football.

Smith Rowe’s three caps for England came two seasons ago when he broke into the first team at the Emirates Stadium following loans at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield. Aston Villa have previously shown interest in him and Fulham are set to lead the race for him this summer.

As he came through the Arsenal Academy, a sale would represent pure profit for Arsenal from a profit-and-sustainability perspective. He has two seasons left on his contract, with the last extension signed in 2021.

One of his starts last season was against Luton when Arteta rested his first-choice players during a hectic period but managed to win with the likes of Smith Rowe playing. “I love him as a player, he is a joy to watch,” said Arteta afterwards.

“How he moves, changes direction and how physical he was without the ball. He went into duels and won a lot of them and was thinking with that killer instinct to play forward and make things happen. When Emile is in that moment, it’s very difficult to stop him.”

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