Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is yet to decide on a new squad number for the 2021/22 season, football.london understands.
Previously sporting no. 32 for the Gunners, the 20-year-old was expected to be handed a new number for next campaign following his starring role at the back end of last term.
The Arsenal academy graduate ended up making 33 appearances in all competitions last season for the Gunners, netting four goals and providing a further eight assists.
There were previous suggestions that Smith Rowe could have been assigned a new number for next season with fellow academy graduate James Hillson having sported the midfielder’s current number in pre-season training.
This led to suggestions that Smith Rowe could potentially be assigned no. 10 next season with the number having been left vacant since the departure of Mesut Ozil to Fenerbahce in January.
With training pictures then indicating the midfielder seemingly shielding his number away from view, some speculated that an announcement regarding Smith Rowe’s squad number could be forthcoming.
However, that is not the case as football.london understands that the 20-year-old is yet to decide on a definitive number with a new contract still to be signed.
Smith Rowe’s current deal at the Emirates Stadium expires in 2023 and the Gunners are attempting to extend his stay.
football.london understands that the Gunners remain confident that the midfielder will commit but that has not stopped Smith Rowe from being linked with a departure.
Aston Villa’s interest in him has been well-documented throughout the summer with reports suggesting that they have lodged as many as three bids for the player.
Should he remain in north London, Arsenal still remain keen to bring in an creative midfielder in the current window and have been strongly linked to Leicester City’s James Maddison, whom himself ironically dons number 10 for the Foxes.
Source by Football London