Former Aston Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor has warned Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe that a move to Newcastle may not be in his best interests.
While Smith Rowe is reportedly seeking more consistent playing time, Agbonlahor suggests that a transfer to St James’ Park may not necessarily guarantee an immediate starting role for the talented midfielder.
Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor acknowledged Smith Rowe’s abilities but hinted at a role as a squad player for Newcastle. “He can be a good squad player for Newcastle,” he said.
“But that’s the problem. He’d be leaving Arsenal for another club where he isn’t going to start.”
Agbonlahor pointed out the competitive nature of Newcastle’s midfield, in particular the impending return of Joe Willock.
“Let’s not forget, Newcastle have got Willock coming back in that position. He was brilliant last season and has been completely forgotten about by everyone.”
The presence of Guimaraes in the same position was also highlighted by Agbonlahor, who suggested that Smith Rowe could find it tough to force his way into the starting XI.
“If he came to Newcastle, he’d have to fight for a position. It’s not going to be guaranteed.”
With Smith Rowe’s having only featured six times for Arsenal during the campaign, for a total of 135 minutes, it is understandable that he would be looking for more minutes elsewhere. The competitive landscape at Newcastle though, as outlined by Agbonlahor, could potentially make the player think twice about a move.