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West Brom linked with the Arsenal starlet who rejected Barcelona


West Brom could move for Arsenal youngster Emile Smith-Rowe, according to reports.

The Baggies have been dealt a real blow after Harvey Barnes was recalled by Leicester.

But The Mirror says they could look to strike an agreement to sign Smith-Rowe on loan.

The 18-year-old has been with the Gunners since the age of ten and has come through the England age groups, most recently playing for England Under 19s.

 

He is yet to play a Premier League match but made his first team debut in September 2018 against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League, when he came on as a second-half substitute for Alex Iwobi.

It was the first Arsenal professional debut by a player born in the 2000s and he followed that up by starting and scoring in the following Europa League match – a 3-0 win over Qarabag.

The London Standard reported last month that Smith-Rowe rejected the chance to join Barcelona to continue his development at Arsenal.

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What’s happening at West Brom?

Barcelona were among the clutch of clubs eager to prise him away during his progression through the club’s academy but Smith Rowe insists he never once felt the urge to leave.  

“I used to watch that Barcelona team, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, when they were in their prime,” Smith Rowe told Sky Sports.

More Baggies

Darren Moore has no concerns about the conduct of his players when his team fly out to Dubai for a training camp after Saturday’s game against Norwich.

Indiscipline marred West Brom’s warm weather break in Barcelona last February, when hapless manager Alan Pardew was in charge.

Four senior players were alleged to have stolen a taxi on a night out during the ill-fated trip, followed in the UK by six successive defeats as Albion hurtled towards relegation.

Three of the players who broke the late night curfew – Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill – are still at the club.

But Moore says the landscape is very different this time round and does not fear a repeat of the shenanigans that tarnished Albion’s reputation and drove a wedge between players and fans.

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“There is a different culture at the club now,” Moore said. “There is a wonderful connection between me, the players and the staff.

“We are going over there to focus on training and prepare for another league game.

“The week will be the same as if we were staying here, just be a bit warmer.

“At this moment we have hit 30 games in league and cup. For a club which for so long has been used to 38-game seasons, I just thought it was right.

“When I was planning six or seven weeks into the season, I looked for an opportunity.

“It has come because the game against Bolton was moved from a Saturday to a Monday. It gives us a couple of extra days. The time is right for us to do it.”



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