At some point Aston Villa might make a high enough bid that Arsenal sit their and think “wow, we need to accept that”.
According to David Ornstein, Arsenal have rejected an offering in the region of £30million for Emile Smith Rowe.
That is already huge money for a lad who has started just 19 Premier League games.
What is clear is that Aston Villa are trying to get in replacements for Jack Grealish prior to selling him.
They have already spent big on Emi Buendia from Norwich, and their pursuit of Smith Rowe shows that they are looking to replace Grealish with 2 rather than one.
So how high will Villa be willing to go for Smith Rowe? And will it be high enough?
Smith Rowe was a breath of fresh air last season. His work rate, creativity and attitude, alongside Bukayo Saka, was one of the few positives from a tough season.
But what is also clear is that he is probably not yet ready to play week in week out as Arsenal’s 10.
We bought in Martin Odergaard in January and the pair shared the role. It is likely this summer we will make a permanent signing in that position.
You would expect whoever comes in to be first choice, with Smith Rowe becoming his understudy.
Smith Rowe will still get plenty of play time – and his versatility will be an asset; but at what point do those in charge of Arsenal think to themselves “that is too much money to turn down for a 2nd string player”.
Say Villa bid £40million for Smith Rowe. Arsenal could probably replace him with someone from Europe for half of that. And what if the bid reaches £50million? Or beyond?
That sort of money would finance a move for someone like Houssem Aouar, who is a level above Smith Rowe. We would get change out of the deals leaving us even more money to add further creativity.
To make it clear, I would not want us to sell Smith Rowe. But we would be crazy to turn down that sort of money for a bit-part player with potential.
Every player has his price; I wonder what Smith Rowe’s is…