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Arteta: ‘Smith-Rowe 100% stays, Willock in plans’

Mikel Arteta spoke about Arsenal youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock, offering some clarity on their immediate futures. The Gunners boss was asked about both players following Arsenal’s 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat to Hibernian and began by addressing the rumours of Newcastle’s interest in Willock:

“Well, he wasn’t involved today because he had a little groin issue.

“He trained yesterday really well but we didn’t want to risk him.

“Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.

“He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think one of the most important players for their survival.”

Attention turned to Emile Smith Rowe who has been the subject of two bids from Aston Villa this summer. Asked if he would stay in North London next season, Arteta was unequivocal:

“Without a question (he will stay). He will stay here. 100 per-cent.

“He knows that [scoring] is a part of the game he needs to get better at.

“We are working on it a lot and you could see the positions that he took today. He created two or three big chances.”