Breaking news: Hale End Graduate Emile Smith Rowe has been shockingly linked with a move to Chelsea

Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has caught the eye of London rivals Chelsea who are believed to be mulling over a potential move for the England ace.

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe is the subject of shock transfer rumours linking the midfielder with a move to the Gunners’ fierce London rivals Chelsea.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues side have already forked out more than £300million this transfer window alone, but could look to add Smith Rowe to their ranks before Friday’s deadline. It is widely believed that the Chelsea boss feels his side still lack something in attack after one win from their opening three Premier League games this term.

As a result, attentions have shifted to Smith Rowe, who has found first-team minutes hard to come by at the Emirates in recent times. Chelsea’s interest in the Gunners academy graduate is by no means advanced and Arsenal may be unwilling to sell altogether, but the fact that it is even a possibility is a damning indictment of how far the England international’s stock has fallen.

Smith Rowe was one of Arsenal’s standout performers over the course of the 2021/22 season and ended the campaign as the club’s joint-top scorer. However, he has failed to build on the momentum garnered back then and been in and out of the side ever since.

The former Huddersfield Town loanee underwent groin surgery in late 2022 which restricted his chance to play in the first half of the 2022/23 campaign. With that being said, by the time January came around, Smith Rowe was deemed fit enough to return to the match-day squad.

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While that was as a positive at the time, in actual fact, the attacking midfielder failed to get off the bench more often than not and rarely influenced proceedings when he did.

The most he has played in any one league game since the turn of the year was 47 minutes at home to Bournemouth back in March. Fabio Vieira appears to be above Smith Rowe in the pecking order, with the latter failing to feature in any of Arsenal’s opening three league games this term.

Smith Rowe’s last league goal for the Gunners came in April of last year, ironically against Chelsea. Manager Mikel Arteta made clear what he expects of any player who dons the number 10 shirt for a club of Arsenal’s stature.

“An incredible season for a number 10 of Arsenal means he needs to score 15 goals and give 10 assists,” the Spaniard explained. “Then you are right up there with the top guys in Europe and in the league. He’s [Smith Rowe] got the ability to do it but he hasn’t done it.”

Smith Rowe certainly has the affection of the Emirates faithful, but Arteta is famed for his ruthless style of leadership and he won’t let the fact the midfielder is a fan-favourite sway his decision. If the Arsenal boss is willing to part ways with the midfielder, that is what he’ll do.

The 23-year-old has three years left to run on his current deal, meaning Arsenal are not in a position where they can be cornered into selling on the cheap. Whether they sell at all remains to be seen over what is sure to be a dramatic final four days of the window.

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