Arsenal ‘consider cashing in on Emile Smith-Rowe to fund a summer move for Leicester star James Maddison’ – as Mikel Arteta plots a summer rebuild in midfield after missing out on the title
- Maddison may be an available prospect should Leicester suffer relegation
- Mikel Arteta is preparing for a midfield revamp as Granit Xhaka prepares his exit
- How can Manchester City’s Premier League rivals stop them next season?
Arsenal are toying with selling academy product Emile Smith Rowe to fund a move for Leicester’s James Maddison, according to reports.
After their title charge ran out of steam, Mikel Arteta’s thoughts have turned to the club’s summer rebuild as the Gunners prepare to challenge next season and improve upon their second place finish.
Arteta will also be looking to boost his squad in preparation for Champions League football, with the north London club sealing entry into Europe’s top flight for the first time in six years.
The club lifted their fans’ spirits this week with the announcement of a new four-year deal for ace winger Bukayo Saka, who is set to become one of the club’s highest earners upon confirmation of the long-term deal.
But now the club are set to shore up their strength in midfield, in the wake of the imminent departure of Granit Xhaka and end-of-season concerns around Thomas Partey and Jorginho.
Leicester’s James Maddison is on Arsenal’s radar as the transfer window fast approaches
Emile Smith Rowe has deep roots with the North London side but has struggled this season
As per the Mirror, Maddison has been on Arsenal’s radar for some time as a suitable midfield option, after distinguishing himself during a turbulent season with the Foxes.
Leicester’s end-of-season outcome looks bleak, with the former Premier League champions currently languishing in 18th on just 31 points.
Whilst the relegation fight remains alive for both Leeds in 19th and Everton two points ahead in 17th, beating West Ham on the final day of the season will be imperative to keeping Dean Smith’s side in the top flight.
Maddison has been a bright spot throughout a disappointing campaign, but a risk taken by Smith paid off when the England star and his team-mate Harvey Barnes – both believed to be stronger players in the side – were left on the bench as the Foxes faced Newcastle on Monday.
Leicester held the Magpies to a cagey 0-0 draw, which kept has kept their chances hanging by the barest of threads.
That Smith Rowe could be a casualty of a packed transfer window for Arsenal will no doubt come as a disappointment to the team’s supporters.
The 22-year-old has been at the club for over 13 years, breaking through to the first team in 2020 after loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield, but his promising start under Arteta was stymied this season by injury.
Mikel Arteta will look to strengthen his options in midfield during the upcoming window
After undergoing groin surgery in September 2022, which in turn ruled him out of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, Smith Rowe has struggled to get back into the side as Arteta prioritised his regular starters during the team’s title charge.
The player has failed to make a Premier League start this season, and watched six of Arsenal’s last eight matches from the bench.
Smith Rowe is not the only starlet that Arsenal are thinking of letting go during the upcoming window, with Kiernan Tierney and Rob Holding also in consideration.
Alongside Maddison, also Arsenal’s wish list of incomings are West Ham captain Declan Rice, and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
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