The highly-rated Arsenal midfielder has lifted the lid on Chelsea’s surprise decision to overlook him as a youngster.
Emile Smith Rowe has claimed Chelsea rejected him as a youngster for “not being big enough” for the club.
After loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town, Smith Rowe has been living the dream at Arsenal this season. He has broken into the first-team, won a call-up to the England U-21 squad this week, and seems set for a bright future.
But the Croydon-born midfielder could’ve so easily have lined-up in the white or blue side of London instead.
In an interview with former Tottenham man Jamie Redknapp for the Daily Mail, Smith Rowe revealed he rejected Spurs to join north London rivals Arsenal and got turned down by Chelsea.
“I grew up in an area that should be more Crystal Palace than anything else, but I was an Arsenal fan,” said the 20-year-old.
“I trialed at Chelsea and didn’t get in. Something about me not being big enough, I’ve heard.
“But Arsenal found out and picked me up. They were flexible, too. They knew I lived far away and told me to come in when I could. Tottenham showed interest, but I stood by Arsenal.
“They’re my club.”
Smith Rowe has made 22 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, including 13 in the Premier League.
The young Englishman is set to return to action in the London derby against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.