Date: 21st April 2023 at 1:00pm
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Arsenal can move further clear of reigning champions Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table with victory over Southampton on Friday evening. 

The Gunners will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome The Saints, who currently sit bottom of the table, to The Emirates.

Last time out, Mikel Arteta’s side followed up a 2-2 draw against Anfield with a disappointing draw of the same scoreline against West Ham United, despite racing into a 2-0 lead within ten minutes against The Hammers.

Arteta will be confident of his side picking up three points against Southampton, though, with the south coast side having lost 14 of their last 19 league matches.

Now, though, it appears that The Gunners could face a battle to keep hold of one of their young stars.

As per TalkSPORT, Aston Villa are set to renew their interest in forward Emile Smith-Rowe this summer.

The Villans have previously held interest in the player and had a £30 million bid rejected back in the summer of 2021.

Smith-Rowe has been hampered by injuries so far this season

A number of young stars, including Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, have helped propel Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table, but Smith-Rowe has so far only played a bit-part role.

The England international missed much of the first half of the season after undergoing groin surgery, and he has made just 11 appearances across all competitions so far this term.

In total, the Englishman has made 93 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions, scoring 18 goals and providing ten assists.

Smith-Rowe, who is contracted to Arsenal until the summer of 2026, made his debut during Villa boss Unai Emery’s time in charge at The Emirates, and The Villans are therefore hopeful that they can lure the player away from north London.

Villa are set to back Emery financially during the upcoming summer transfer window and they have made Smith-Rowe, who is yet to start a Premier League match this season, one of their top targets.

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