Arsenal approached by London rivals for potential loan deal for 23-year-old star: Reports

West Ham interested in Arsenal
West Ham interested in Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe

West Ham United are reportedly interested in signing Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe on loan from London rivals in the ongoing winter transfer window.

Smith Rowe came through the Gunners' academy and played his full season as a senior player in the 2020-21 season. He registered 14 and 13 goal contributions across competitions in his first two senior seasons respectively.

However, Smith Rowe has been bogged down by injuries and inconsistent form since then. He has made just 12 appearances across competitions for Arsenal this season, starting just twice and providing one assist. He is behind the likes of Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, and Leandro Trossard in the pecking order.

Hence, Smith Rowe could look to leave the north London side in search of more playing time. As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, West Ham are interested in signing him on loan until the end of the season.

The Hammers have reached the Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League and are competing for the European spots in the Premier League. Hence, Smith Rowe's addition could be a big boost for them.

Pundit reckons Smith Rowe can slot in as a striker at Arsenal

The Gunners have struggled to finish off their chances this season, having scored 37 goals in 20 Premier League games. Striker Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah have scored just eight league goals between them.

Arsenal have been linked with many strikers this January, including Ivan Toney, Victor Osimhen, and even a loan move for Karim Benzema. However, their financial constraints could make a potential signing unlikely.

Pundit Adrian Clarke, meanwhile, believes Emile Smith Rowe can play as a striker for Arsenal. He acknowledged that the Englishman's best position is in midfield but lauded his finishing ability, saying (via The Boot Room):

"I would say it’s left-side number eight, that’s his best position but I genuinely believe he could fill any of the front five spots.
"He’s played wide left and been excellent, he could cover Bukayo Saka, I’d like to see that actually, Saka comes off on 70 minutes, give Emile a chance in that position because he’d take up more half spaces and we can get Ben White on the outside."

Further highlighting Smith Rowe's versatility, Clarke added:

"He can play on the wing, either number eight spot, and as a withdrawn number nine as well because he’s a finisher, his finishing is one of his best qualities and one of the best in the squad."

Arsenal have already been eliminated from the EFL Cup and the FA Cup this season. They will face FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. In the Premier League, they are fourth, five points behind leaders Liverpool.

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