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Emile Smith Rowe confirms he snubbed advances from Barcelona

Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe has confirmed that he snubbed advances from Barcelona at the age of 16 as he was determined to make a career for himself with the Gunners. The 18-year-old made his debut for the north Londoners during the Europa League clash against Vorskla in September and he has since racked three goals from five appearances for the club.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Smith Rowe acknowledged that Barcelona were looking at the prospect of adding him into their famous La Masia academy but the move did not appear fruitful for him unlike other upcoming youngsters. He added that he is now living the dream of representing the Gunners after sharing the dressing room with some of the world’s best including Mesut Ozil.

He said: “I’ve said the word too much, I think, but it’s surreal. I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘What is going on?’ I look up to these players so much. To get a chance to be in the same dressing room as them – let alone on the same pitch – is unbelievable. I still feel like I’m in a dream. I was shocked that I even went away with the first-team in pre-season, so to get the chances that the manager has given me has just been great.”

“Smith Rowe was a relatively unknown to the Gunners faithful until the summer“ where he scored a sublime long-range goal against Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup. Thereafter, the youngster was handed a new long-term contract with the promise shown and he has since earned “the occasional appearance in“ the Cup competitions.

The next step for him would be a starting role in the Premier League and that may come forward during the ongoing campaign, should Unai Emery consider a rotation policy at the backend of the season. Rowe could feature for the Gunners in midweek when they entertain Qarabag in their final group stage game of the Europa League.