Mikel Arteta makes U-turn over January Arsenal signing due to Emile Smith Rowe

Mikel Arteta is no longer interested in signing Real Madrid playmaker Isco after the emergence of young Emile Smith Rowe.

Arsenal are widely expected to target a new attacking midfielder this winter due to their issues with creativity in the final third.

It is understood that Isco has been on Arteta’s radar for some time, and was considering a move this month should Isco become available.

But AS claim that he is now no longer interested in pursuing Isco following the a fine run of performances from Smith Rowe.

The 20-year-old has started all three of Arsenal’s recent wins against West Brom, Chelsea and Brighton.

And Arteta has been highly complimentary of Smith Rowe’s performances since coming into the team, insisting he is exactly the sort of player the club needs.

“He is a player that I really liked since the first day I watched him,” the Arsenal manager said earlier this week.

“Just the way he moves, how intelligent he is with the positions he takes and his work rate – don’t underestimate that.

“He works really hard for the team and he had a really bad injury this year and hasn’t really trained with us at all.

“For the last two weeks he has been much more involved and you can see what he can bring to the team.

“I am delighted to have a young player with his talent and in that position. It was something that we needed.”

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Isco’s time at Real does appear to be coming to an end though, having fallen down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane.

The four-time Champions League winner has started just three La Liga games this season, and has played less than 45 minutes of football since November.

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