Arsenal: James McNicholas claims anger over past Aston Villa bids for Emile Smith Rowe

Image for Arsenal: James McNicholas claims anger over past Aston Villa bids for Emile Smith Rowe

Journalist James McNicholas has stated that Arsenal were left furious in the past over two transfer bids for Emile Smith Rowe. 

Last summer, Aston Villa made a very real effort to sign the Englishman from the Gunners – offering around £30m for the player – only to see both bids rejected firmly (via The Athletic).

While reflecting about this past activity on Arsecast Extra, the Arsenal podcast, McNicholas revealed that this actually caused a ‘bit of agro’ between the clubs.

Roughly a year on from the incident, he explained how the situation actually went down, saying (1:14:17): “That was a bid that really caused a bit of agro between Villa and Arsenal, all that.

“Because Arsenal were absolutely clear in their kind of pre-bid communication with Villa that the player was not for sale. and the bid arrived nonetheless.

“I think there were two bids, in fact, and that did not sit particularly well at Highbury house. Because it was like: ‘We’ve made it very clear that we don’t want to sell this player’.”

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The Gunners will no doubt be delighted with their stance after the season Smith Rowe had last term. Indeed, the youngster scored an impressive ten Premier League goals, while also adding two assists in England’s top division.

Former Villa boss Dean Smith later went on to explain his feelings after the transfer bid failed, saying (via “He decided to stay at Arsenal. Arsenal’s a big football club in its own right. He’s a good player and we want good players at this football club.”

It seems as though Smith was okay with how things turned out but judging from McNicholas’ most recent comments, those at Highbury house left rather unimpressed by Aston Villa’s behaviour.

It remains to be seen as to whether or not that ‘agro’ remains and if it could potentially impact upon any future deals between the clubs. Considering Callum Chambers swapped London for Birmingham last January, though, it does seem as though there is at least a working relationship still.

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