Despite Arsenal’s ended their first pre-season friendly match in defeat, there’s a positive vibes through player like Thomas Partey, especially club academy product Emile Smith-Rowe.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder, introduced in the second-half of the game, and ended the matches with three chances and one lovely goal.
Last season, Smith-Rowe’s goal ratio was poor, as he only managed two goals in the Premier League, but showcasing sign of improve, by starting new campaign as scorer why also created a chance in Gunners Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Scottish giants Hibernian.
An error from Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo allowed Martin Boyle to score and Daniel Mackay made it 2-0, before Smith Rowe pulled one back.
Nicolas Pepe missed a penalty during the loss and Arsenal will hope to improve when they face Rangers on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, admitted that he is ‘100%’ certain that Smith-Rowe will not leave the club this summer, despite multiple bids for the young attacker from an ambitious Aston Villa.
Dean Smith’s side have already had £25m and £30m offers for Smith-Rowe rejected by the Gunners and there had been talk of an improved third bid for the impressive 20-year-old, who enjoyed a breakout season in Arsenal’s first-team in 2020/21 and is set for a key role in 2021/22.
It was reported earlier this month that a new and improved five-year contract reflecting his new-found first-team status is likely for Smith Rowe and Arteta has now underpinned the belief that the player will be staying at the club.
‘Without a question [I am determined to keep him]. He will stay here, 100 per cent,’ said Mikel Arteta tafter Smith-Rowe scored in Arsenal’s first pre-season game.
Asked specifically about Villa’s offers, Arteta added: ‘No comment.’