Soccer-Arsenal did not consider selling Smith Rowe to Villa, says Arteta


Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 18, 2021 Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

(Reuters) - Arsenal had no intention of selling midfielder Emile Smith Rowe to Aston Villa in the summer, manager Mikel Arteta said after Villa reportedly contacted the north London club for the England youth international's transfer.

British media reported that Villa twice bid for Smith Rowe in the summer but Arsenal turned down both bids. The 20-year-old eventually signed a new long-term contract https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-england-ars-smith-rowe-idUKKBN2ES1Q6 with Arsenal in July, putting an end to the speculation over his future.

The academy graduate, who has been at Arsenal since he was nine, became a mainstay of manager Arteta's team last season and has three goals and five assists in 30 league appearances.

"Well, any club has the right to make an inquiry about a player when they believe they have the financial power to get him, they're entitled to," Arteta told reporters before Friday's Premier League game at home to Villa.

"So there was a communication between the clubs and we made it really clear that Emile wasn't for sale.

"He's a big part of what we're trying to do and our future. He's really happy where he is and I'm delighted to have him."

Arsenal are 12th on the league table with 11 points from eight matches, one point above 13th-placed Villa.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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