Arsenal sign Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht
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Arsenal are pushing to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan in this summer’s transfer window. It was recently claimed the Argentina international wanted to move to the Emirates Stadium. And, in Emile Smith-Rowe, the Gunners may already have the perfect partner in crime.
It was Eurosport’s Dean Jones, speaking recently on The Football Terrace, who claimed Martinez was keen to move to Arsenal this summer.
“Now I had reservations about this from the start because I thought, like most people, why would Lautaro Martinez having just won Serie A and being one of the best young strikers in the world go and join Arsenal?” he said.
“So I’ve asked that question. And basically he wants to come to the Premier League, first of all, and he sees Arsenal – if that’s the club – to be a place where he can grow.
“And if he can do well for Arsenal, who knows where that’ll lead to him next?
“At the moment, the reason Arsenal are in pole position for him is because they basically have a free run at him.
“There hasn’t been any contact from other clubs for Lautaro Martinez.
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“Personally I think Lautaro Martinez should be playing at Man City or somewhere, he’s so good. But those clubs aren’t in for him at the moment.”
For Arsenal, that’s a significant boost.
Mikel Arteta wants the 23-year-old amid expectations Alexandre Lacazette will leave the club next summer, as his contract winds down.
And, in Smith-Rowe, the Gunners may already possess the perfect player to get the best from the Argentina international.
Up until recently, he was linked with a move to Aston Villa. But, in a twist, he’s since signed a new contract with the Gunners ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Smith-Rowe is a special talent. One with the potential to get even better in the coming years ahead.
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And it will be him charged with the task of providing ammunition for the club’s strikers to fire, especially now he’s been given the No 10 shirt.
Given it’s been worn by talents such as Mesut Ozil, Denis Bergkamp and Jack Wilshere over the years, that speaks volumes about the trust Arsenal have in their young asset.
And after he provided a respectable six goal involvements from 20 matches last season, Arsenal are expecting big things this upcoming season.
Smith-Rowe, certainly, seemed happy after signing his new contract and getting his new number.
“Everyone knows that No 10 is a big shirt and it is definitely a big position as well. So I’m buzzing to be honest, I can’t wait to get on the pitch,” Smith Rowe told Arsenal.com.
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“It’s really special – I can’t explain the feeling when I found out. I’ve not really got the words to explain it right now! But yeah, I’m really happy.
“The legends that have played here and have worn the shirt… it’s a bit too much right now but I’m sure I will calm down after a while!
“When I was younger I used to watch Dennis Bergkamp, and when I was going through the academy Mesut Ozil was here as well and getting the opportunity to train with him and play with him as well was unbelievable.
“I just want to keep working hard and hopefully I can play like them and replicate what they’ve done.”
And Arsenal boss Arteta was similarly delighted, saying: “As we all saw last season, Emile is an intelligent player with excellent ability.
“His sharpness on the turn and exceptional vision have already made him a key player for us. His attitude and willingness to learn have also been very impressive.
“Huge credit to our team in our academy who have given Emile a great education and have worked superbly to help with his development through the age groups.
“Along with the first-team staff, huge credit also goes to our senior players, who have played such an important role to help Emile develop, gain confidence and perform the way he did last season.
“I know the fans will join us in being delighted that Emile has committed his future to the club.
“We’re now looking forward to helping him develop further and seeing him become even more important to the strong young team we’re building.”
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