Emile Smith Rowe has been talked about as the next big thing for years (he’s only 19). Arsenal fans have waited with bated breath for his emergence as the answer to a sometimes unimaginative midfield.
As much as Arsenal are a very inclusive club and have led the way for years, the supporters love homegrown kids in the side because we believe that they have come through the ranks with a genuine passion for the club as opposed to arriving from outside for a lucrative wage. Saka, Nketiah, and Nelson are Arsenal mad, you can tell by their appetite, enthusiasm, and performances that the club is in their hearts.
Emile Smith Rowe, one suspects, has also never entertained the idea of playing elsewhere. The attacking midfielder, who has been on loan to Huddersfield this season, has gone without protest or gripe because this lad is intent on pulling on the red and white shirt to lead the next generation.
He has a great engine and works tirelessly for the team. His main attribute is to get forward and create opportunities or finish them, but he is also an intelligent player with excellent touch and vision. That’s something that appeals to Arteta as he peels Arsenal back to the bare bones to begin the rebuild at the North London club.
If Arsenal were going to place a job advert for a creative midfielder, it would read:
‘Wanted for an exciting project. North London Football club requires a young, ambitious, and talented midfielder who works hard but also has the creativity to turn a match.
The candidate must possess sublime skill, be able to assist with goals but also take them. He must have a good temperament, display youthful exuberance and signs of endurance’
Emile Smith Rowe would fit the criteria immediately and it’s surely just the short hop from loan spells and being a peripheral player to the first team. It appears that Smith Rowe is in Arteta’s plans along with Matt Smith as Arsenal look beyond their cash flow issues and towards the riches in reserve. The Gunners have just £30m at their disposal if you believe the papers. Isn’t that the same figure as last season, when they splashed out £130m?
Anyway, if Smith Rowe can make the transition from prospect to professional first-team star, Mikel Arteta will breathe a sigh of relief because, at the moment, Arsenal need a quality midfielder on the cheap. Better to uncover one from the academy than take a chance on a highly rated newcomer from overseas. It doesn’t always work out and all I will say on this matter is Juan Sebastián Verón.
I’ve got my fingers tightly crossed for ESR because there are those of us that have grown tired of waiting for another Brady or Rocastle to come along. Perhaps, this moment is one where Arsenal have no choice but to build a side comprised of the youngest homegrown squads since the United’s 1992 side. They will be in excellent hands because Mikel Arteta can influence young talent and is said to have been crucial to the development of Raheem Sterling.
“He’s a player with very specific qualities to play in those pockets in that position as an attacking midfielder,”
“I am excited to work with him. I have been talking with him and I have followed him during his spell on loan. I think he’s someone who can be pretty impressive.”
Emile Smith Rowe is considered the heir apparent to the number 10 shirt but coincidentally, that’s on loan at the moment to Mesut Özil. Not for long though.