Arsenal legend Alan Smith heaped praise on Emile Smith Rowe’s stunning performances over the last three weeks, on his column on The Evening Standard.
The 20-year-old has started each of Arsenal’s last three Premier League games. Smith Rowe, along with Bukayo Saka, has helped change the mood around the club, and fans couldn’t be happier with his performances.
Smith has claimed that the youngster’s selection came due to desperation, but that hasn’t stopped him from singing praises of him. He says that Smith Rowe’s performances brought back memories of Jack Wilshere bossing games during his time here.
He said: “The qualities of Emile Smith Rowe were less well known. Europa League football is one thing, but holding your own against Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is quite another. Following on, his creativity and touch at West Brom brought back memories of Jack Wilshere bossing the play.”
“As so often happens in these situations, Smith Rowe’s chance came about through desperation. Mikel Arteta didn’t seem all that keen to promote the playmaker, hoping instead that his senior stars would perk up.”
“When they didn’t, there was no other choice. With Arteta’s credentials and decision-making getting widely questioned, the Spaniard turned to a player of unknown pedigree.”
Have Arsenal found the heir to Ozil’s throne?
Mesut Ozil was the talk of the town during Arsenal’s terrible winless run. The Gunners were in desperate need of creativity and many felt that the German was the only player at the Emirates capable of changing that.
However, Smith Rowe has done brilliantly in Ozil’s position. The youngster has been calm in possession and has been positionally brilliant. His movement has created space for his teammates to exploit and that has made a massive difference.
Arteta certainly has a fantastic player at his disposal but he should use him carefully. Smith Rowe is still only 20 and it would be wise for Arsenal to bring in an established attacking midfielder to ease the youngster’s progression to the top.