Not much gets past Arsenal fans.
Ahead of the pre-season clash against Hibernian on Tuesday evening, one excited eagle-eyed supporter ‘spotted a hint ‘in regards to Emile Smith Rowe’s potential new shirt number, because goalkeeper James Hillson was seen wearing a training top with the No.32 on it.
Of course, that has been the attacking midfielder’s shirt number for the past two seasons since breaking into the first-team picture.
Therefore, there was a theory that Smith Rowe was in line for a change despite the fact that the numbers worn in training sessions can differ from their actual squad numbers.
This proved to be the case as Smith Rowe was wearing No.32 against Hibernian – a match in which he scored in as the Gunners fell to a 2-1 loss at Easter Road.
In fact, football.london understands the midfielder is yet to decide on a new squad number for the 2021/22 season with a new contract still to be signed.
However, some Arsenal fans don’t think that’s the case.
As spotted and discussed on Reddit, Smith Rowe appeared to have been wearing ’10’ on his adidas slippers, convincing fans that a new shirt number has been decided.
QCGunnrs said: “It could be 10, 16 or 18. Holding should still be number 16 and I don’t know why ESR would go from 32 to 18 so it’s surely 10.”
MetingChristofi said: “Ladies and gentlemen. We got him.”
TheFuturist25 said: “The definitive new number 10.”
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Whether Smith Rowe follows in the footsteps of Dennis Bergkamp, Mesut Ozil and Robin van Persie in being allocated the iconic Arsenal shirt number remains to be seen.
But amid links to Aston Villa, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is confident of keeping hold of the attacking midfielder.
“Without a question,” said the Spaniard when asked if he was determined to keep the Hale Ender in North London following the Hibernian clash. “Yes. He will stay here. 100%.”