Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and pundit Jamie O’Hara has questioned the ability of Emile Smith Rowe to have an impact for Arsenal this season.
Emile Smith Rowe is yet to feature for Arsenal in the Premier League this season. He was also scarcely involved for the Gunners last season, only making 12 Premier League appearances, none of which were starts, in an injury ravaged campaign.
Smith Rowe has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta seems inclined to turn to the likes of Fabio Vieira and Leandro Trossard as rotation options ahead of Smith Rowe.
At 23-years-old, the 3-cap England international needs to be playing regularly at this stage in his career. Given there’s no sense of a move elsewhere being in the offing in what remains of the transfer window, the onus is on the player to force his way into Arteta’s plans.
However, Jamie O’Hara simply doesn’t believe Smith Rowe has the ability to star for Arsenal this season. Speaking on TalkSport (5:42pm, August 26, 2023), the 36-year-old said of the Hale End academy product, “I don’t think he is good enough. He is not good enough to play in this team who are going to try and win the league.”
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Smith Rowe should not be underestimated
O’Hara is wrong to underestimate the raw talent Smith Rowe possesses. He has shown before how good he can be at the highest level. In the 2021/12 season, he managed 10 Premier League goals for the Gunners. Arteta recognises the £40,000-per-week player’s potential, having previously called him “incredible.”
Since then, though, injuries have taken their toll, and the form of Gabriel Martinelli has made breaking back into the starting XI difficult. However, it is a long season, and Arsenal will be looking to compete seriously on multiple fronts. If he can stay fit, then Smith Rowe will get his chance to show he can still be a star in north London.
Fans will certainly still be hoping that the attacking midfielder can come good for the club.