After Arsenal's first preseason match, the manager spoke out about the futures for the two midfielders. The pair had been linked to Premier League clubs this summer.
Both have traveled to Arsenal's training camp, Scotland. Smith Rowe was part of the scoresheet in a 2-1 loss to Hibernian. Willock was unable to play due to a groin problem that he suffered from during training the day before.
Arteta stated: "Without any question. Yes. Smith Rowe will remain here. 100 percent
"No comment (when asked to about Aston Villa’s bids).
"Willock (Willock), was unable to participate today due to a groin problem. Although he trained very well yesterday, we weren't willing to put him at risk. Joe is part our plans. He's our player. We will make the best of his time here. It was a great experience for him. He was, I believe, one of the most important players in their survival."
Smith Rowe: Who was interested?
Aston Villa expressed interest in signing the 20 year-old, and submitted two bids since opening of the transfer window. Both were rejected by Arsenal.
Smith Rowe has been a key member of Arteta since his introduction in the Boxing Day victory over Chelsea. He is expected to maintain his momentum in the 2021-22 seasons.
Who was interested to Willock?
Newcastle are keen on bringing in Willock after his loan spell last season. He scored eight goals for Steve Bruce's side.
He was a great fit for the Magpies but has yet to be given a comparable place in the Arsenal first-team.
What will they bring Arsenal this season?
Smith Rowe will provide much-needed poise in the midfield and the ability to accelerate the game in tight spaces. This is why Smith Rowe will be a crucial part of Arsenal's season.
Willock will be able to provide more legs from the deeper midfield positions, but he also has unique qualities that make him stand out among other Arsenal midfielders. He is able both to travel with and without the ball in order to score goals.