Emile Smith Rowe is currently the centre of attraction at Arsenal and he came up with yet another positive performance for the Gunners – this time vs Newcastle United in the FA Cup.
The 20-year-old came off the bench to score Arsenal’s first goal in the 109th minute and speaking after the game, midfielder Granit Xhaka was quick to point out the importance the youngster holds in the current scheme of things.
He told Arsenal’s official website, as per the Metro: ‘He’s a lovely guy, a very good guy who wants to improve, he listens to us experienced players a lot and he’s so important to us.
‘You can see how many balls he recovers, how many key balls he plays at the front and for the front guys as well he’s so important.
‘He has to keep going like this, to improve day-by-day but he has a good mentality and that’s very important as well.’
Pundit Ian Wright also heavily praised Emile Smith Rowe saying(as per Goal): “He’s [Smith Rowe’s] quality. Top drawer. He is a real player. Absolutely delighted for him,”
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“It’s what he deserved. In the first half we weren’t getting enough midfield players joining and in the box and he’s someone who does that naturally in his game. He’s done well there. You want a calm, composed strike on target and he’s done that. He’s literally one of the only players we have in the squad who plays on the half-turn in there.
“He comes into that area of the pitch, we had [Granit] Xhaka and [Mohamed] Elneny and they’re deep, they need someone in the middle of the pitch to lay it into who can link with the midfield and the forwards.
“He’s the kind of person that wants the ball in there to progress it forward. That’s what we didn’t do in the first half and in the previous games to the ones we’ve won.”
The recent form of Emile Smith Rowe has been a real boost for Mikel Arteta who is eager to add a new creative midfielder to his squad during the January transfer window. With Mesut Ozil finally set to leave Arsenal this month, the manager is keen to bring in a top quality attacking midfielder at the club.
But this rise to prominence from Emile Smith Rowe has left many to ponder if Arteta should try and spend money on a new player or should the manager take his chances with the youngster.
The 20-year-old surely has bundles of talent but we don’t think the Gunners boss will want to place his bets on a youngster if he wants to get back into the Champions League next season. So we feel Arteta will still try and look for a new creative midfielder for the remainder of the season but at the same time, he’ll try and develop Emile Smith Rowe for the future.