Mikel Arteta changes his stance on Isco transfer after Mesut Ozil comments

Mikel Arteta has reportedly changed his stance on signing Isco for Arsenal due to the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe.

The Gunners have been strongly linked with a move for the Real Madrid midfielder and were said to be 'genuinely keen' in doing a deal this January.

But Arteta has experimented by playing youngster Smith Rowe in the number 10 role at Arsenal for the past three matches, and has reaped the rewards.

Arsenal have won all three Premier League games on the bounce, and Gunners boss Arteta has been very impressed with what he has seen from Smith Rowe.

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The 20-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Championship side Huddersfield, even got a vote of confidence from none other than Mesut Ozil.

The £350,000-a-week number 10, who has been frozen out at Arsenal, tweeted following the win over West Brom: "Nice game my boys! Great spirit – three wins in a row. Team looks good with a No 10 like Emile Smith Rowe – the difference maker."

Spanish publication AS claims Arteta agrees with Ozil's assessment of Smith Rowe, and that moving for Isco would be unnecessary at this time.

Arteta was recently asked for his thoughts on Smith Rowe's performances in the press and has been full of praise.

"He is a player that I really liked since the first day I watched him. Just the way he moves, how intelligent he is with the positions he takes and his work rate – don't underestimate that," said the Arsenal boss.

"He works really hard for the team and he had a really bad injury this year and hasn't really trained with us at all. For the last two weeks he has been much more involved and you can see what he can bring to the team.

"I am delighted to have a young player with his talent and in that position. It was something that we needed."

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