Former Spurs recruitment chief opens up on trying to sign Arsenal star at age 16

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Image: @snapshotspurs

David Webb has claimed that he tried to sign Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe for Tottenham when he was a teenager. 

Smith Rowe, 21, has been one of the Gunners’ standout players this season having burst onto the scene from the club’s academy. 

He is currently Arsenal’s top scorer with nine goals in 23 appearances (Transfermarkt) but his form has somewhat tailed off and was benched through the majority of his side’s fixtures during the festive period. 

Transfer chief Webb, who is currently head of football operations at Huddersfield, has time on the recruitment teams at Crystal Palace, Southampton and Bournemouth on his CV, as well as being the former Head of Elite Potential Identification at Spurs.

During his stint at Tottenham, Webb has revealed that he tracked Smith Rowe for a while as a youngster and tried to sign him for the club before he moved to Arsenal. 

Webb told the What The Footie podcast: “A good example is Emile Smith Rowe, we got him on loan when we were at Huddersfield from Arsenal. 

“He was a player I knew all about from when he was quite young. We tried to take him at Tottenham when he was 16 or 17. 

“We followed his path when he went to RB Leipzig, and when you look at a talent like that he was coming into a completely different environment, it was a needs must at the time as Huddersfield needed a player in that sort of position.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Smith Rowe has been one of Arsenal’s best players this season, and credit has to be given where it is due. But you can’t get can’t predict that every player will become a hit in the Premier League, and you can’t sign every youth prospect that you come across too. 

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