The summer transfer window saw Arsenal fans riled by Aston Villa’s lowly attempts to sign Emile Smith Rowe from the club. The England international is the current top scorer for the Gunners with eight despite not starting in Mikel Arteta’s current team.
The competition from Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard has seen Smith Rowe have to cope with a Premier League role from the bench, but with the fixtures congestion yet to diminish, more opportunities are to come for him in the Arsenal starting eleven.
Villa made several attempts to sign Smith Rowe with the highest reported offer in the region of £30 million. There were rumours of an even higher proposal, however, Smith Rowe ended up renewing his contract with the club and claiming the famous number ten shirt.
In the wake of Villa’s failed attempts, Arsenal supporters have been eager to see the club get revenge for the Birmingham-based club’s pursuit of their beloved Hale End product.
Now, they could be about to get their wish with ESPN reporting that Arsenal have both striker Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz on a list of potential targets.
The Gunners have needs in both striker and central midfield with the Villa duo being standouts during the club’s tenure back in the English topflight.
Watkins has the characteristics of a forward that fits the style Arteta would want. Quick, clinical, has an aerial threat to his game and can link-up play. The latter needs further development, but his work ethic is another attractive part of his game.
Meanwhile, Luiz has been a consistent performer in both Villa’s side and when called upon for the mercurial Brazilian national team.
Both players would cost a significant amount but the gap between Villa and Arsenal is now considerable and the prospect of a switch to north London, especially for Arsenal fan Watkins, could be too much of a temptation not to help force through a deal.
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For the Arsenal faithful it would be a double beneficiary of not only gaining two brilliant players for the squad but sweet revenge for the cheek to try and coax Smith Rowe away from the Emirates.
Arsenal look to be two crucial players away from having a near-perfect starting eleven. Despite their obvious quality, it is important that Arsenal choose the right players for the job.
The club remains interested in a number of other targets in both positions. Bruno Guimaraes is said to be a target in midfield and the Lyon player’s quality is undeniably competitive with Luiz’s.
Meanwhile, up top, names such as Dusan Vlahovic, Alexander Isak, Jonathan David and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have all been mentioned.
Watkins ranks close to the four forwards, however, there are arguments that the others’ style suits that of Arteta’s team more so than the Villa man.
Edu and his recruitment team need to make the right choices with their investment, although the business conducted across the last 18 months should give encouragement to put faith in their choice.
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