Emile Smith Rowe to hold Arsenal contract extension talks as Mikel Arteta confirms 'he wants to continue with us'

ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta has revealed the club will hold contract talks with Emile Smith Rowe after the playmaker's impressive season.

The 20-year-old has become a key player for the Gunners since making his first Premier League start in the 3-1 victory against Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Since then, he has featured in all but three top-flight matches, with the England youth international chipping in with two goals and seven assists in 28 games in all competitions.

His current deal at the Emirates doesn't expire for another two years, but the North Londoners are keen to extend his stay.

SunSport revealed earlier this week that Arsenal were set to open contract talks with Smith Rowe after tying academy starlet Folarin Balogun down to a new deal.

And Arteta has confirmed negotiations are poised to happen, as he declared that the player is keen to commit his future to Arsenal.

Speaking to Sky Sports about Smith Rowe's potential contract extension, the Spaniard said: "We are going to have that discussion.

 "I think Emile has earned the right to look at that situation because of the performances that he has produced.

"He's very much engaged and wants to continue with us, that's for sure."

Smith Rowe made his Arsenal debut under Unai Emery in September 2018, where he scored three goals in six games before joining RB Leipzig on loan in January 2019.

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And he linked up with Championship side Huddersfield in last year's winter transfer window where he scored twice and provided three assists in 19 outings.

Former Arsenal U23 boss Freddie Ljungberg recently heaped praise on Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka for standing out in the academy.

The Invincibles legend remarked: "I have been with them Saka and Smith Rowe since they were 15, I know most of their parents.

"They're amazing players. I always thought they had it in them.

"They're very different as individuals, but they're clever boys, they listen and they have a good understanding of football. I always believed in them.

“When you do youth there's so many players, but they were training very, very hard, not trying to cheat. They of course had talents that not many other players had.

“You see so many talents that don't make it, [they need] that little extra drive."

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