Transfer

Arsenal now eyeing move for “wonderful” star to replace Smith Rowe

On course to win the Premier League title as things stand, Arsenal are only looking to make further improvements this summer, with reports suggesting that they could show the ruthlessness of champions in the transfer window.

Arsenal transfer news

When looking back on the early days of Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, it was Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe who stood out among the chaos and squad full of ill-discipline and struggles. Yet, years later, only one of those academy graduates still has their place in Arteta’s side, and it’s not Smith Rowe. Whilst Saka has become one of the best wingers in the world, and only looks likely to get better, Smith Rowe has found himself at a career crossroads.

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He’s been a vital part of Mikel Arteta’s side.

The midfielder has struggled with injuries, which have eventually cost him a place in Arsenal’s starting side as they look to win their first Premier League title since the Invincibles in 2004. Now, given that Smith Rowe earns a reported £40k per week at The Emirates, is reportedly facing the exit door amid his struggles to earn valuable minutes under Arteta.

Emile Smith Rowe injury history

Injury (via Transfermarkt)

Games missed

23/24

Bruised ankle

1

23/24

Knee injury

9

22/23

Groin surgery

14

20/21

Shoulder injury

15

If the 23-year-old is shown the door, then the Gunners will need a replacement. And that’s where Nottingham Forest star Morgan Gibbs-White could come in. According to The Daily Star, Arsenal are eyeing a move to sign Gibbs-White amid Forest’s need to balance the books and avoid a second Financial Fair Play charge next season.

It remains to be seen just how Forest will demand for their star, but Premier League relegation would certainly force any price tag down. With Nuno Espirito Santo’s side currently inside the relegation zone by a single point following their four-point deduction for breaking FFP rules, a bargain price is undoubtedly a possibility for Gibbs-White, who they signed for a reported £42.5m in 2022.

“Wonderful” Gibbs-White is more reliable than Smith Rowe

Now that Arsenal are back competing for the top prizes on all fronts, reliability is a greater asset for Arteta’s players to have than ever before under the Spaniard, which creates a problem for Smith Rowe. The Hale End graduate just hasn’t stayed fit for consistent enough periods and availability often beats talent when that talent is not available enough.

It’s the kind of fitness issue that Gibbs-White does not struggle with. The 24-year-old’s last injury came two seasons ago when he suffered a broken foot at Swansea City. Since missing 22 games with the Welsh side, he hasn’t missed any extended periods in what is a fantastic record.


morgan-gibbs-white-nottingham-forest-premier-league

Gibbs-White isn’t just any available player, however. He also comes with plenty of talent, earning the praise of Glenn Murray as a result. The former Premier League striker told Match of the Day via BBC Sport after Forest’s draw against Luton Town:

“I’m a big fan of his. I think he is always positive, he gets on the half-turn and plays defence-splitting passes.

“He’s just always looking to progress the team. He makes a wonderful turn, skins [Teden] Mengi, drives right down the heart of the Luton defence, and picks up a foul on the edge of the box.”

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