EMILE SMITH ROWE is out to show Aston Villa exactly what they missed out on at the Emirates tonight.
Arteta admits he was surprised when Villa came in with a £25million offer for 21-year-old Smith Rowe in July.
And he was positively stunned when they returned with an improved £30m bid in spite of beating the Gunners to £38m Emi Buendia from Norwich.
The Gunners boss said: “Any club has the right to make an inquiry about a player and if they believe they have the financial power to get him, they are entitled to make a bid.
“There was communication between clubs regarding Emile and we made it really clear he was not for sale.
“I was never worried he could leave because he is a big part of our future and what we’re trying to do as a club.
“He is really happy where he is and I’m delighted to have him in my team.”
Yet Spaniard Arteta was nevertheless impressed by Villa’s cojones in trying to lure away one of England’s brightest young talents.
And he admitted: “For sure they are showing the right ambition to take the club to a different level.
“I really like Dean Smith, first of all as a person and also because everything I have heard from him is so positive.
“He is building a team and a club with different ambitions and credit to him — and also to the owners for giving him the time and the credit to do that.
“He’s doing a really good job and this will be a difficult game for sure, because we haven’t got the results we wanted against them recently.
“We have seen how they have improved their squad and the way they have played in the last few seasons, and we know the type of game we need to beat them.”
“I was never worried he could leave because he is a big part of our future and what we’re trying to do as a club.”
Mikel Arteta on Emile Smith Rowe
Arteta is unhappy that Arsenal are having to play on Monday and Friday nights this week due to TV schedules.
He said: “I hope that doesn’t affect our preparation times.
“It’s very strange to be asked to play on these days when we have no European football and also difficult to understand.
“We can give our opinions but in the end we have no say on these matters.”
And he was also displeased at the way his team lost their way against Crystal Palace on Monday night after taking an early lead.
In the end they needed a 95th- minute equaliser from sub Alexandre Lacazette to rescue a 2-2 draw and he warned they cannot make the same mistakes this evening.
Arteta added: “After hitting the level of performance that we produced in the first part of the Palace game, we needed to go for the second goal and play with the same fluidity.
“It’s not about taking more risks, it’s about continuing to do the things that are working and on Monday we stopped doing that.”
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