Arsenal ‘consider cashing in on Emile Smith-Rowe to fund summer move for Leicester star James Maddison’ – as Mikel Arteta plots summer rebuild in midfield after missing out on title
Arsenal are playing with the sale of Emile Smith Rowe academy proceeds to fund a move for James Maddison from Leicester, according to reports.
After their title waned, Mikel Arteta’s thoughts turned to the club’s summer rebuild as the Gunners prepare to challenge next season and improve on their second-place finish.
Arteta will also be looking to strengthen his squad with a view to Champions League football, with the north London club sealing entry into Europe’s top flight for the first time in six years.
The club lifted the spirits of their fans this week with the announcement of a new four-year deal for elite winger Bukayo Saka, who is set to become one of the club’s top earners following the confirmation of the long term agreement.
But now the club are ready to bolster their forces in midfield, following the impending departure of Granit Xhaka and end-of-season concerns around Thomas Partey and Jorginho.
Leicester’s James Maddison is on Arsenal’s radar as transfer window fast approaches
Emile Smith Rowe has deep roots with the North London side but has struggled this season
According the mirrorMaddison has been on Arsenal’s radar for some time as a suitable midfield option, having distinguished himself during a turbulent season with the Foxes.
Leicester’s end-of-season result looks grim, with the former Premier League champions currently languishing in 18th place on just 31 points.
With the relegation fight still alive for Leeds in 19th and Everton two points clear in 17th, beating West Ham on the final day of the season will be imperative to keep Dean Smith’s side in the top flight.
Maddison was a bright spot throughout a disappointing campaign, but a risk taken by Smith paid off when the England star and team-mate Harvey Barnes – both seen as stronger players in the squad – were left on the bench against the Foxes. Newcastle on Monday.
Leicester held the Magpies to a cautious 0-0 draw which kept their chances hanging by the slightest thread.
That Smith Rowe could fall victim to a crowded transfer window for Arsenal will no doubt be a disappointment for the team’s supporters.
The 22-year-old has been at the club for over 13 years, breaking into the first team in 2020 after loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield, but his promising start under Arteta has been stalled this season by injury.
Mikel Arteta will look to strengthen his midfield options in the next window
After undergoing groin surgery in September 2022, which in turn ruled him out of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, Smith Rowe has struggled to return to the squad as Arteta has prioritized his regular starters during the team’s title charge.
The player has failed to make a Premier League debut this season and has watched six of Arsenal’s last eight games from the bench.
Smith Rowe isn’t the only starlet Arsenal are considering letting go in the next window, with Kiernan Tierney and Rob Holding also in consideration.
Alongside Maddison, Arsenal’s wishlist also includes West Ham captain Declan Rice and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.