Emile Smith Rowe walking in Dennis Bergkamp and Mesut Ozil’s footsteps with Arsenal No10 shirt

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe says he is aiming to emulate heroes Dennis Bergkamp and Mesut Ozil in north London after signing a new deal and being handed the No10 shirt.

The academy graduate has put pen to paper on a new long-term contract at the Emirates, ending speculation over his future following a string of rejected approaches from Aston Villa during the transfer window.

Smith Rowe broke into Mikel Arteta’s first team in fine fashion last term and, having admired Bergkamp and Ozil growing up, is now stepping into their shoes as the new No10.

“It is really special,” said Smith Rowe. “I can’t explain the feeling when I found out. I haven’t really got the words to explain it right now.

“When I was young I used to watch you know Dennis Bergkamp. When I was going through the academy Mesut Ozil was here as well and getting the opportunity to train with him and got the opportunity to play him as well, that was unbelievable. I just wanna keep working hard and hopefully, I can play like them and replicate what they’ve done.”

Aston Villa made a serious effort to tempt the England U21 midfielder away from north London this summer, which two rejected bids, but the 20-year-old says it was an easy decision to remain with Arsenal.

“I didn’t really have to think about too much,” Smith Rowe told the club website.“I’ve been at the club since I was ten years old. For me it was just about carrying on this club and I’m really happy. It was an easy decision.”

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