Emmanuel Petit: Arsenal must show Emile Smith Rowe their ambition

Emmanuel Petit insists Arsenal must send midfield star Emile Smith Rowe a ‘signal’ and show they are ‘ambitious’ in bid to tie the Aston Villa target down to new deal… before warning Gunners they could lose ‘so many players’ if their downfall continues

  • Smith Rowe broke through and played 33 times in all competitions last season
  • The 20-year-old midfielder has been the subject of several bids from Aston Villa 
  • Arsenal are reportedly confident Smith Rowe will sign a new contract at the club
  • But ex-Gunners midfielder Petit warned the club to signal their ambition to him 
  • If Mikel Arteta’s side have another poor season they could lose numerous players

Emmanuel Petit has warned Arsenal to ‘signal’ their ambition to coveted midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, adding they could lose him and numerous others if they endure another disappointing season.

Smith Rowe, 20, played 33 games in all competitions in his breakthrough season last campaign and has attracted several bids from Aston Villa, with offers of £25million and £30m rejected and Dean Smith’s side planning a third. 

Although Arsenal are reportedly confident he will sign a new contract, Petit told the Metro that if the club want to keep the Croydon-born star and other key players, they need to prove their ambition by signing the right players in the transfer market.

Emmanuel Petit has insisted Arsenal need to ‘signal’ their ambition to star Emile Smith Rowe

The Gunners had a disappointing campaign last season and will struggle to keep promising young players like Smith Rowe if they keep underachieving, according to ex-midfielder Petit

He said: ‘As a club, you need to show your players that you are ambitious. In terms of improvement, competition and ambition, it’s very important to send them a signal. Arsenal have been sliding down the table for five or six years. When is it going to finish? 

‘That means if I am an Arsenal player, I will be very conscious about what the club is doing in the market, who are the new players, who is leaving the club. 

‘If the club is spending money on good players with character, maybe that shows they want to send a signal to the team that this season will be different to the last few seasons.’

And Petit insisted the England U21 international would be observing the likes of Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish enjoying themselves at other Premier League clubs and wondering about Arsenal’s future success.

Petit stated Smith Rowe ‘is not stupid’ and would want to see the club making ambitious moves in the transfer market before the Aston Villa target would commit to a new contract at the club

The Croydon-born attacking midfielder is reportedly ready to sign a new deal at the Emirates

He added: ‘Emile Smith Rowe is not stupid, he will be looking at guys like Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish enjoying their football with the national team, all smiling on the pitch and very relaxed with the pressure and the ambitions of their clubs and the national team. Smith Rowe will want to be the same.

‘He will have had some questions in his mind and I hope Arsenal gave him the answers he was expecting in terms of the transfer market and ambitions for next season. If this season is the same season we’ve seen from Arsenal for the last couple of years, forget it. They’re going to lose so many players at the end of the season.’

Mikel Arteta’s side finished eighth in the Premier League last campaign, just two points ahead of promoted Leeds and outside the qualification spots for European competition in the upcoming 2021-22 season.

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