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Fulham 'preparing summer bid' for 23-year-old Arsenal attacker

Fulham 'preparing summer bid' for 23-year-old Arsenal attacker
© Reuters
Fulham are reportedly preparing an early summer bid for 23-year-old Arsenal attacker Emile Smith Rowe, who could leave the Gunners amid his lack of minutes.

Fulham are reportedly planning to make an early offer for an out-of-favour Arsenal man during the early stages of the summer transfer window.

Due to a combination of injuries and the form of Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard, Emile Smith Rowe is now little more than a peripheral player for Mikel Arteta.

The Englishman's promotion to a regular first-team player in the second half of the 2020-21 season arguably saved the Gunners' torrid campaign, and he struck 10 Premier League goals in the season that followed.

However, Smith Rowe has since experienced two frustrating years with his boyhood club, registering just two assists in 19 games last season and earning a mere three Premier League starts.

The 23-year-old forced his way into the England squad thanks to his Gunners breakthrough, but he is now out of the Three Lions picture and was not selected in their preliminary Euro 2024 squad.

Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe pictured on September 27, 2023© Reuters

Fulham 'earmark Smith Rowe as top target'

Smith Rowe is still contracted to Arsenal for another two seasons, but his representatives are reportedly set to hold talks with the Gunners in the coming weeks to discuss his future at the Emirates.

Amid uncertainty surrounding his long-term future, The Telegraph claims that Arsenal's London rivals Fulham have taken an interest in the European Under-21 champion, making him one of their transfer 'priorities'.

The Cottagers could lose two of their existing wide options this summer, as Willian and Bobby Decordova-Reid are both out of contract at the end of June, and the former is considering offers from the Saudi Pro League.

Meanwhile, Fulham have supposedly offered Decordova-Reid a new deal, but there is no guarantee that the 31-year-old will accept, leading Marco Silva to target wingers ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

Smith Rowe joined the Arsenal academy setup in 2010 and has now recorded 18 goals and 13 assists in 115 matches for the Gunners, as well as spending time on loan with Huddersfield Town and RB Leipzig.

Should Arsenal be looking to sell Smith Rowe this summer?

Emile Smith Rowe in action for England Under-21s on March 28, 2023© Reuters

Smith Rowe's regression has been painful for many Gooners to witness, especially as an academy graduate, but the time is surely nigh for the injury-plagued attacker to move on.

From a business point of view, Arsenal have all the motivation they need to sell the 23-year-old, whose exit would be registered as pure profit, helping the Gunners stay on the right side of the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Despite his fitness problems, Arsenal can realistically ask for at least £20m for a 23-year-old home-grown player, who showed a few bright sparks last season but nothing that truly set the world alight.

At a time when Trossard and Martinelli are battling for the left-wing spot, while Declan Rice thrives in the left number eight position, there is simply no room for Smith Rowe in Arteta's ranks any more.

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