Arsenal chief Edu shelves January transfer plan because of Emile Smith Rowe

Arsenal: Arteta praises Smith-Rowe impact

Arsenal are still interested in signing a new playmaker during the January transfer window, but it has been claimed that they might wait until the summer due to the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe.

Arsenal youngster Smith Rowe could be changing the club’s transfer policy.

The Gunners were expected to dip into the January market to sign a new playmaker and replace Mesut Ozil.

The German international flew to Turkey over the weekend to sign for Fenerbahce on a free, with his £350,000-per-week Arsenal contract set to be terminated.

With the veteran playmaker set to leave, Arsenal were tipped to go all-out to get a replacement in during the current window in order to play a role in the second-half of the season.

Mikel Arteta used the hectic festive period of matches to rotate his side around and utilise some academy graduates, with Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka noticeably getting more minutes.

The former has been employed in the number ten role Ozil would have occupied if he had been playing.

He’s performed like a seasoned pro, having produced three assists in five Premier League appearances since being given a start against Chelsea on Boxing Day.

And according to Sky Sports’ transfer expert Dharmesh Sheth, Arsenal chiefs are now less focused on bringing in a new creative midfielder this month.

“I think Arsenal are in the market for an attacking midfielder, that is clear,” he said.

“But it will be very difficult to get a deal over the line in January, because it’s difficult in January anyway.

“Emile Smith Rowe has performed very well and that has taken the immediate pressure of them signing someone in that position for the time being.

“They do remain in the market, but perhaps more for the summer.”

Smith-Rowe put in another good showing as Arsenal beat Newcastle 3-0 on Monday night, setting up the second goal with a dizzying run before squaring for Saka.

And speaking afterwards, Arteta heaped praise on the 20-year-old, saying Smith-Rowe and Saka deserve the plaudits coming their way.

“When we are winning, they put a smile on my face,” he said of the young pair.

“I know what they are capable of doing. They are developing really well, and that’s a merit to them, a merit for their team-mates and everybody that is involved to try to support them and protect them as well.”

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