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Emile Smith Rowe exclusive: I want to stay at Arsenal forever



The attacking midfielder signed a new five-year contract over the summer and in an exclusive interview with Standard Sport, said: “I’d love to be here forever.”

Smith Rowe, an academy product who has been with Arsenal since the age of 10, has become a key player under Mikel Arteta and is thriving this season.

The 21-year-old was the subject of a £30million bid from Aston Villa over the summer before Arsenal tied him down to a deal until 2026 and gave him the No10 shirt.

Smith Rowe says it was an “easy decision” to commit his future to his boyhood team and asked if he could see himself being a one-club man, he said: “I hope so, I definitely hope so.

“If Arsenal want me for the rest of my career, then I am going to stay here forever. It is always difficult [to stay at one club for your career], but for me personally I’d love to be here forever.

“For me it was easy [to sign a new contract with Arsenal]. Obviously it didn’t look like that from the outside, it looked quite difficult.

“For me, playing for Arsenal, growing up an Arsenal fan and my family around me, it was easy. Growing up in London, I didn’t want to move out of London. It was probably one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.”

Smith Rowe is relishing his role in the Arsenal first team and has been one of the side’s most consistent performers this season.

He scored in the recent 3-1 north London derby win over Tottenham and, ahead of Friday night’s clash with Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium, revealed his ambitious plans to help the Gunners get back towards the top of the Premier League.

Asked what his dreams for the future are, Smith Rowe said: “Hopefully some trophies. I think that’s what it is about really, creating the memories.

“Definitely [winning] the Premier League would be great with Arsenal. Representing my country is definitely a dream as well, no matter what game.

Arsenal

“Just putting on the shirt is going to be something I want to achieve in my career. I just want to be the best I can be. Hopefully I can look back and be proud of myself.”

Smith Rowe, a regular for England’s Under-21 side, is on senior manager Gareth Southgate’s radar, but right now he is focusing on performing for Arsenal instead of dreaming about a place in the squad for next year’s World Cup in Qatar.

“It’s always been a dream to put the England shirt on,” said Smith Rowe, who was speaking as part of his work with the Arsenal Supporting Supporters campaign.

“My coaches have always said: ‘Keep your head down and the opportunities will come, you’ve just got to believe in yourself’.

“For me, I have just got to focus on Arsenal and try to play as well as I can. We will see what happens.”



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