Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe has today revealed that he knocked back the interest of La Liga giants Barcelona in his signature, in favour or remaining in North London.
18-year-old midfielder Smith Rowe is widely-regarded as one of the finest young talents not only on the books of Arsenal, but across all of English football.
The starlet has broken into the first-team ranks of the Gunners this season, after being handed the chance to impress by Unai Emery.
And, despite having only managed appearances in the League Cup and Europa League, Smith Rowe has grasped his opportunity with both hands thus far.
Across 6 appearances to this point in the campaign, the English Under-19 international has notched a hugely-impressive 3 goals.
Smith Rowe has showcased an all-round repertoire of splendid touch, technique, eye for goal and tenacity to paint the picture of a genuine midfield star in the making.
‘Arsenal is the right club for me’
However, while Arsenal’s fans are no doubt abuzz at the prospect of watching the gifted teen don the club’s colours for many years to come, things could so easily have been very different, had the youngster allowed the lure of one of Europe’s top clubs to turn his head.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports earlier today, Smith Rowe confirmed that La Liga giants Barcelona previously expressed an interest in his services:
‘I used to watch that Barcelona team, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, when they were in their prime.’
‘So when I found out that they were interested of course I was very happy. But I can’t explain to you how much I feel that Arsenal is the right club for me.’
When questioned on his hopes of securing a first Premier League appearance in the near future, the prodigious midfielder explained:
‘That’s my main goal at the moment.’
‘Just getting that first appearance behind me and hopefully going on from there and starting games.’
Arsenal vs Qarabag
Smith Rowe would likely have been given his latest opportunity to shine during Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Qarabag tonight.
However, as was confirmed earlier today, the English starlet has picked up a groin strain, and looks set for around two weeks on the sidelines:
Emile Smith Rowe will miss tonight’s game after suffering a minor groin strain in training. Likely to be on the sidelines for around two weeks. https://t.co/sTirkhUDMG
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 13, 2018