Arsenal legend ‘worried’ about Emile Smith Rowe and makes FFP claim amid West Ham links

Emile Smith Rowe has started just two Premier League games for Arsenal since the start of last season

Martin Keown has admitted Financial Fair Play could open an avenue for West Ham United to sign Emile Smith Rowe.

The Hammers have emerged as a possible destination for the Arsenal outcast, who has struggled to break into Mikel Arteta’s side. Injuries have plunged Smith Rowe down the pecking order at the Emirates, with Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard their preferred attacking midfielders.

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Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard also arrived in recent windows to give Smith Rowe a dilemma about his Arsenal future. The 23-year-old has started just one Premier League game since the beginning of last season.

Reports have suggested West Ham are plotting a loan move until the end of the season - a claim Mikel Arteta denied at his pre-match press conference. David Moyes is rumoured to be considering an approach for Smith Rowe as Lucas Paqueta is ruled out until March.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Arsenal legend Keown expressed his concern at the midfielder’s lack of game time. The 57-year-old also claimed the Gunners may offload Smith Rowe to create FFP headroom.

“I’m worried about Smith Rowe not getting enough football,” Keown said. “But they won’t let him go on loan to West Ham. They want cash for players now, don’t they? If they’re going to sell, that decision needs to be made.

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“It might be that they think ‘Ok, let’s give him one more chance on loan to see if he is what we think he is because he’s had so many injuries’.

“I think if Arsenal are looking to do anything or do some business and want to get a striker, there’s talk about the narrative that they’re not scoring goals, maybe this is the best way of raising some cash.

“I don’t want to see him go, I think he’s an outstanding talent. But obviously, with financial fair play, Arsenal are going to have to make something happen.”

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