Chelsea are reportedly weighing up a move for Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates.
Mauricio Pochettino is looking to bring in another attacker before the transfer window closes on Friday, with the 23-year-old among three names being considered.
Smith Rowe hasn’t featured in any of Arsenal’s first three matches of the season. He struggled for minutes last season, too, making zero starts and just 12 league appearances from the bench. Although this was largely down to injury problems.
This is in stark contrast to the 2021/22 campaign when he scored an impressive 10 goals in 33 Premier League appearances for Arsenal.
It seems unlikely that Smith Rowe will break into the Gunners’ starting XI again, though, especially after the arrival of Kai Havertz from Chelsea.
Mikel Arteta also opted to bring Fabio Vieira off the bench ahead of Smith Rowe when Arsenal were 1-0 down to Fulham on Sunday, which was telling.
Frustrated by a lack of game time, it’s thought Smith Rowe is open to leaving Arsenal, and Arteta could be convinced to sell him if a satisfactory offer comes in. This is despite the manager turning down offers for him earlier in the summer.
According to the Daily Mail, Smith Rowe is being considered alongside Barcelona duo Raphinha and Ferran Torres as Chelsea’s next signing.
Negotiations are ‘not advanced’ for any of the players, with the Blues set to push for one of the three targets ahead of deadline day.
The Blues have already spent around £350m this summer and around £900m in total under chairman Todd Boehly since his arrival in May 2022.
Despite all these additions, the west London side look light going forwards. They do not really have a natural number 10 in their squad at the moment, so Smith Rowe could be the missing link Pochettino needs to bring success back to Stamford Bridge this season.
Raphinha and Torres, on the other hand, are wingers. Chelsea already have Raheem Sterling, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke to fill those roles, so a new attacking midfielder would arguably make more sense.
It isn’t clear how much Arsenal would be willing to sell Smith Rowe for this summer. He is under contract until 2026, so it’s unlikely he’ll come cheap.
Transfermarkt value Smith Rowe at approximately £35m, though, so it’s likely Chelsea would at least have to match that fee to have any chance of getting a deal done.
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