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Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe: "Why I turned down Tottenham Hotspur"

Emile Smith Rowe
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal starlet Emile Smith Rowe has revealed that he once had an offer from Tottenham Hotspur - but that he turned it down.

Smith Rowe was speaking while on England duty after his first call-up to the senior national team and revealed that he was once given the chance by arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur to swap the red side of north London for the white. He maintained that he's an Arsenal fan though - and that he never considered leaving.

"Tottenham wanted me when I was 15 or 16 but, as an Arsenal fan, I was never interested," Smith Rowe said.

"I joined Arsenal at 10 and I was determined to make the grade at my club."

Smith Rowe has enjoyed a breakthrough 2021, playing regularly for Mikel Arteta's side and being given the no.10 shirt in the summer. Earlier this season, the Croyden-raised midfielder even netted against Tottenham in the North London Derby.

Speculation was rife that the 21-year-old could even depart the Emirates Stadium after a standstill in contract talks. In the end, Smith Rowe signed a new long-term deal which included an upgrade in his squad number. 

The new England star is a product of Arsenal's famed Hale End academy. After bursting into the Arsenal reserves, he was loaned out twice as a youngster, to RB Leipzig and Huddersfield.

Both clubs reportedly wanted to sign the talent, too - who has struggled with injuries in his early years at Arsenal.

The youngster was given his break in an Arsenal shirt last December after he returned from injury, when Arteta gave Smith Rowe his first start in the Premier League at home to Chelsea. He starred in a 3-0 win for the Gunners and has been a fixture in the side ever since. 

Smith Rowe has scored in his last three Arsenal games.