Arsenal hand Smith Rowe new long-term contract

Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal 2018-19
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The 18-year-old has impressed since making his first-team debut against Boreham Wood and has been givevn a new deal by Unai Emery

Arsenal teenager Emile Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners following an impressive pre-season with the club.

The 18-year-old made his first-team debut under Unai Emery against Boreham Wood in July and was included in the travelling party for Arsenal’s International Champions Cup campaign in Singapore, where he scored an outstanding goal against Atletico Madrid.

Smith Rowe was also a member of the England youth team that won the U-17 World Cup last year in India and has now been rewarded for his form with an extended deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking to Arsenal's official website, Emery praised the midfielder's impact in the first team, saying: "I am pleased with Emile’s contribution so far this pre-season.

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"He is working very hard and has lots of potential. I look forward to working with him and the other young players and helping them to develop."

A regular in Arsenal’s U-18 side, Smith Rowe also made 11 appearances for the U-23s last season, and is a graduate of the club’s Hale End academy.

Asked how he felt to have signed an extended contract with the club, Smith Rowe admitted that his new deal felt like the culmination of a childhood ambition.

"To be honest it feels great for me," the teenager stated. "It’s something I’ve always dreamt of since I was young, so to sign a new contract with Arsenal… I’m just so happy and it feels surreal at the moment.

"Knowing how Arsenal play and knowing the background of the club is something I really look up to. Hopefully I can get chances in the first team to prove how good I am."

Smith Rowe’s exploits in the ICC against Atletico and PSG drew the plaudits of his team-mates, who have welcomed him warmly into the first-team, creating an atmosphere that he feels will only help him grow.

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"To get the opportunity to train and play with them on tour was just an unbelievable feeling for me No one’s tried to leave me out of the group or anything, so when I’m at Arsenal, it feels like a family.

"Everyone’s just so together and I think that’s helped me so much on and off the pitch."

Arsenal play two final pre-season games against Chelsea and Lazio before they kick-off their new Premier League campaign at home to champions Manchester City on August 12.