Jack Wilshere gives verdict on Emile Smith Rowe as Arsenal close in on third January transfer

The latest news from around the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal and Mikel Arteta prepare to face Southampton in the FA Cup fourth-round this afternoon

Jack Wilshere gives verdict on Emile Smith Rowe as Arsenal close in on third January transfer

Odegaard hint?

On Friday, Arsenal announced the somewhat surprise signing of goalkeeper Mat Ryan in a loan deal from Brighton and Hove Albion until the end of the season.

The Australia international joins Omar Rekik as the two new arrivals at the club so far in the January transfer window?

So who is next?

Well, all signs are pointing towards Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard becoming Arsenal's third signing this month.

JoriPress understands technical director Edu had spoken with Odegaard's father Hans and agent Bjorn Tore Kvarme, while on-loan midfielder Dani Ceballos had also helped convince the Norwegian to pick Arsenal over Real Sociedad.

And Real Madrid may have dropped the biggest hint yet that Odegaard's move to Arsenal will soon be confirmed by leaving him out of the matchday squad to face Alaves.

Wilshere praises Smith Rowe

Emile Smith Rowe has received plenty of plaudits over the past month.

Brought into the Arsenal side for the Boxing Day win over Chelsea, the 20-year-old has repaid Mikel Arteta's faith with a succession of consistent performances.

So much so that he's caught the eye of a certain Mr. Jack Wilshere.

As seen in the tweet above, Wilshere delivered his verdict on Smith Rowe when asked for his thoughts regarding the attacking midfielder.

"He is quicker than I was," Wilshere said. "He plays with his head up and you don't see that much. Top player."

Wilshere also hailed Bukayo Saka as the best player in the Arsenal squad right now in what was an interesting Q&A session on Twitter.

Bertrand links

Arsenal's search for defensive reinforcements has seen them linked with a move for Ryan Bertrand, who is out of contract at Southampton at the end of the season.

The Evening Standard are reporting that the Gunners are monitoring his situation along with other targets.

However, judging by the defender's comments from a few days ago, it would appear that he's planning to stay at St Mary's for a while yet.

"I want to stay at the club. I want to be part of this and to keep going and to keep developing," he said when speaking to BBC Radio Solent. "I want to see how far we can go.

"We can do some great things.

"I love being here. I have grown on the field, off the field and I’ve learned a lot of things.

"We're now at a stage where we were during my first three years here. There was a bit of turbulence but now we’ve got it back.

"The seatbelts are fully fastened now, let's see how far we go."