Arteta: Smith Rowe will ‘100%’ stay at Arsenal and Willock is in my plans
What did Arteta say?
Arteta said: “Without a question. Yes. He (Smith Rowe) will stay here. 100%.
“Well he (Willock) wasn't involved today because he had a little groin issue. He trained yesterday really well but we didn't want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he's our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him. He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think one of the most important players for their survival.”
Talking about new signing Nuno Tavares, Arteta said: “He didn’t have all the paperwork necessary to be involved today but hopefully that will be all ready to go and hopefully he can have a debut on Saturday against Rangers.”
Who was interested in Smith Rowe?
Aston Villa have shown interest in signing the 20-year-old and placed two bids since the transfer window opened, which were both rejected by Arsenal.
Smith Rowe has been an influential member of Arteta’s first team since his inclusion in the Boxing Day win over Chelsea. He is expected to continue his good momentum in the 2021-22 season.
Who was interested in Willock?
Newcastle are keen to recruit in Willock following his loan spell over the second half of last season, where he scored eight goals for Steve Bruce’s side.
He was an exceptional fit for the Magpies, but is yet to find a similar place in the Arsenal first team.
What will they bring to Arsenal this season?
Smith Rowe will bring much needed poise in midfield, as well as the ability to speed the game up in tight spaces. In this sense, he is very unique among Arsenal’s current midfield players and will be essential to their season.
Willock will provide more legs from deeper in midfield, but also has qualities unique to other midfielders at Arsenal as he is able to travel well both with and without the ball to score goals.