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OPINION: Arteta could damage Smith Rowe even more if Arsenal sign “unique” £8.5m sensation



Arsenal are reportedly interested in Brazilian playmaker Bitello, as Gremio confirm the interest accumulated in their player.

Mikel Arteta and Edu have already surpassed expectations this window, spending over £200m on Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice in the bid to strengthen ahead of next season.

There is plenty of time remaining in the summer window for additional reinforcements to be introduced, with Arteta indicating to Sky Sports that the activity may not be over:

“We will have to see how things develop in the next couple of weeks”, he said. “We will be alert, there is still time to do things, there is still time for exits as well obviously. I’m sure things will move.”


Is Bitello joining Arsenal?

Earlier this month, reports from Brazil – relayed by Sport Witness – claimed that Arsenal had scouts in attendance to monitor Gremio midfielder Bitello.

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The report added that the Brazilian club would expect an offer of at least €10m (£8.5m) for the 23-year-old.

Yesterday, a report from Brazil that was relayed by Evening Standard echoed that Gremio president has confirmed there to be clubs interested in the playmaker, saying that:


“There are a lot of people watching Bitello, but there is no proposal.”

Who is Bitello?

Born in Formosa do Oeste, the Brazilian has risen to fame at Gremio, where he has since captured the eye of a number of clubs.

The 23-year-old is versatile in his positioning, with the ability to play in deep or attacking midfield, as well as being deployable on the right side.


Described as “press resistant” by writer Aaron Catterson-Reid, the dynamic midfielder could be an exciting prospect in north London, with him proving to be a threat in possession and in the final third.

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Such claims are supported by his numbers obtained in Brazil’s Serie A, with his strengths in possession translated through his average of 2.55 progressive carries and 1.35 successful take-ons per 90, via FBref.

The numbers accumulated this year also highlight the playmaker’s ability in dispatching the ball, averaging an impressive 2.07 key passes and 5.65 progressive passes per 90.

Further praised by Catterson-Reid as having “electric pace”, the 23-year-old is a livewire in Gremio’s midfield, communicated by his crazy average of drawing 3.42 fouls per 90 to show the frustration he causes the opposition.


While signing Bitello could be a strong move in terms of adding to the depth at the Emirates, the move for the “unique” Brazilian, as dubbed by analyst Ben Mattinson, could also signify a worrying sign for Arsenal gem Emile Smith Rowe, who has found himself moving up and down the pecking order.

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The arrival of Jorginho in January reinforced that the Englishman’s place in midfield was not yet established, as well as Arteta opting to play the likes of Fabio Vieira over the 22-year-old.

A player that has his own struggles with injury, Smith Rowe failed to start any games for the Gunners last campaign, despite making an impact in the 2021/22 season in which he scored ten Premier League goals in 33 appearances.

Introducing another attacking midfielder to the fold could add a further obstacle to the Londoners’ path to making his way back into the starting XI, being a potentially negative move for the England U23 international.


Arsenal do however require depth this summer, with Champions League football in place for the campaign, quality in numbers is essential.


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